Jon Rahm made a superb start on his return to Spain, shooting an 8-under 63 in the first round of the Spanish Open on Thursday.
Rahm was 6-under-par through his first eight holes before making his only bogey and finishing with three more birdies on his back nine.
Rahm, who started on the 10th hole, was two shots behind clubhouse leader Ross McGowan, the Englishman who had eight birdies and an eagle in a 10 under round of 61.
Rahm was a shot back of second-placed countryman Sebastian Garcia, who had only one bogey in his 9 under 62 at Campo de Campo Villa de Madrid.
Spanish fans packed around the holes being played by Rahm, the U.S. Open champion and No. 1-ranked golfer in the world who is back in Spain for the first time in nearly two years.
He is seeking a third straight Spanish Open title, which would tie him with Spanish great Seve Ballesteros.
Rahm is making his first start since the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, where he contributed 3 1/2 points to Europe’s lost cause.
Rahm’s Ryder Cup teammate, Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, was in the same group and shot 1-under 70 after three bogeys and four birdies.
The tournament, which has been part of the European Tour schedule since 1972, was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.