When he tees off on home soil today at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, having previously won in 2018 and 2019, Rahm will be seeking a third consecutive crown following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It would be very unique. I know names like Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal), he couldn't win it ... I would hope to be able to get to a third, not only to tie Seve but to win it three times in a row," Rahm said.

Ballesteros lifted the trophy in 1981, 1985 and 1995, the latter being the last of his 50 European Tour titles.

Rahm, who won the U.S. Open this year but missed the Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19, was part of the European team defeated by the Americans in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits last month.

"It's coming back home that's important. It's very fun to play in front of the crowd, they're very golf hungry in this country. Especially after COVID and the pandemic," said the 26-year-old.

This week is the start of three consecutive events in Spain on the European Tour, with the Spanish Open followed by the Andalucia Masters and the Mallorca Golf Open.