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January 31, 2015

Jon Rahm


THE MODERATOR: Jon Rahm, you're joining us again. You're getting to be kind of a regular here in the media center this week. 5-under 66, round 3 today. Just a few comments on your round, and then we will open it up and take a few questions.

JON RAHM: Well, I've got to say I started really, really nervous, because I was playing with two great players, Brandt Snedeker and Keegan Bradley. But after the first shot I hit it on the fairway, I was absolutely satisfied with that. And then, I mean, it kind of got me going, hitting the shots I shot on the first hole. After that I got a boost of confidence and I started playing great golf.

Q. Does this kind of feel like you have a little bit of a home court advantage, home edge advantage, because you're a Sun Devil and you break out the jersey on 16? Does it feel like this is essentially your home course?
JON RAHM: Not my home course, but it definitely feels like home. There is a lot of Sun Devil supporters out there, and it's great to hear them cheer me up. It feels great.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how you're feeling? Ben tweeted you were dealing with a virus. How are you feeling today?
JON RAHM: Well, we had to wake up very early, at 5:30, to finish my first round, and my stomach was feeling really bad. I felt like -- well, it was hurting all the time. I felt like I was going to vomit all the time. And when I got here, I got a headache, my body started feeling bad, and I finished those two holes. Then I went to the doctor's. They gave me something for my stomach to calm me down and something for the headache. I played through the round. Obviously when I play, I got the adrenaline going and I'm focused and I don't feel it, but as soon as I got done, I actually kind of felt like passing out. Anything I eat, it feels bad. I didn't eat -- I think I ate half a burrito and half an omelet since yesterday morning. I'm just trying to drink a lot of liquids and get the virus out of me.

Q. When you and I talked the other day, I asked you if you were, you know, overwhelmed by this moment, and you said, you know, you expect to play well. Here you are doing that. Are you surprised at how well you are after three rounds?
JON RAHM: Well, I never thought I was going to feel this comfortable, I've got to say. I was feeling really comfortable about my swing and my game. I was actually, in the practice rounds, hitting the ball better than I am right now. I was hitting every fairway, which right now it feels like a challenge to hit a fairway, but I've since kind of pulled it off making a couple of chips every day. So I'm not surprised, but I didn't expected it. Something between there.

Q. Obviously a lot of football fans out there. Talk about how that sort of changes the dynamic in the crowd and the feel to this tournament. I know you wore a jersey yesterday.
JON RAHM: Yeah. Well, I don't know about the jersey. Honestly I just feel for any ASU fan, just whatever ASU I wear it's going to pump them up. It's so special, 42, Pat Tillman's number is so special at ASU, it's something we all have deep inside. I just feel like it gets me going. It's good to do something good too for the community and give back to the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Q. Where were you in the course -- did you hear the roar when Molinari made the ace earlier?
JON RAHM: I heard a lot of roars. I just didn't know which one it was (smiling).

Q. When did you pull the jersey out? Did you do it in the tunnel or come out first? What was the whole -- what ended up setting that up each day?
JON RAHM: No, I always do it in the tunnel. I was doing it in the tunnel.

Q. You mentioned yesterday it was a big par putt on 10 that got your round going. What was the key hole or key shot or the highlight of your round today?
JON RAHM: Oh, definitely No. 8. That chip-in, that little flop shot I made just gave me another boost of confidence. After that, I hit a couple of really good tee shots on 9, 10, 11, and that just got me going even better.

Q. You have a teammate that's your caddie. How special is that relationship for you when you're playing on the course?
JON RAHM: It's not only that he's my teammate; it's that he's my best friend. As I said yesterday, he came all the way to Spain for three weeks as vacation. He was my caddie there. And it's really good to have someone who is such a great person, so calm. And especially he makes me laugh and forget about whatever is going on around the course, which is what I need. I don't want to be thinking about scores or people following or everything else. Having someone like that is just really special.

Q. Just so we can get it straight, could you say and spell your caddie's name?
JON RAHM: Ben, B-e-n, Shur, S-h-u-r.
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