Dubai, Nov 14 (PTI) European Tour’s rookie of the year, Jon Rahm, who has risen to World No. 5 and turned out to be the best emerging talent of 2017, said he is looking forward to adding the Hero Challenge crown to his collection as he makes his debut in the series.

Rahm today received his Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award.

Rahm said he was very excited about the new format at the Hero Challenge.

He said, “I saw it on TV and social media. There were lights and the flame went up when the ball was hit. It looked exciting and I was quite fascinated.”

“We need new fans coming into the sport and the Hero Challenge is a good way. I believe eight of us will be aiming for a target on a floating green in this Finale. Golf needs to have fun, too, apart from the normal tournament golf that we play.”

The idea of the Hero Challenge was to bring new audiences, especially kids. The event will be telecast live on SkySports and will be streamed on Twitter.

Poulter will attempt to become the third Ryder Cup hero to win the Hero Challenge in the 2017 season after American Patrick Reed claimed the title in July and Englishman Lee Westwood emerged victorious in September.

It has been a meteoric rise to the top of the world game for the 23-year-old, who turned professional in June 2016 following a glittering amateur career during which he became number one.

He earned his maiden professional title at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open in January and then joined the European Tour and won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Rahm said: “It’s a very satisfying feeling to win this award. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would be sitting here – fourth in the Race to Dubai, playing the way I’ve done in the Rolex Series, becoming Rookie of the Year – when I wasn’t even a member at the beginning of the year – it’s a really special feeling.” Rahm, the current world number five, lies fourth in the Race to Dubai and he received his Rookie of the Year award from European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.