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January 31, 2017
BRIAN DECKER: We welcome Jon Rahm to the Waste Management Phoenix Open media center.
Jon, obviously coming off a huge win last week at the Farmers Insurance Open. But for a lot of people, this is where you kind of made your first splash on the scene when you finished fifth here as an amateur a couple years ago.
Tell us what it's like to be back here, how special this week is, being so close to ASU, seeing a lot of friendly faces in the crowd.
JON RAHM: Well, I mean, it's an incredible week for me. First of all, it is where I pretty much got my start. The fifth place give me a lot of confidence.
The fact that I have lived here for the last five years, I consider this my home. I graduated from Arizona State, so the support I get from the fans here is unconditional. I don't get the support like this even almost when I go back home to Spain.
Really, it's amazing to have so many supporters on the biggest show on earth, really, because there are so many people that come here. Most of them ASU grads. The support I get is amazing, and to relive all those memories I had a couple of years ago, it really is a special place for me.
BRIAN DECKER: The win last week moves you to 6 in the FedExCup. Have you had a chance to reevaluate your goals for this year? I know you said you had only thought about playing to the end of the West Coast swing, but now you've got that win, you're into some of the Majors, how does that change your goals for the rest of the year?
JON RAHM: I don't think it changes my goals. It gives me a lot of stability. The main thing is that I know now I can make a schedule. I can actually make up a schedule.
Before that, it was go to LA and we will wait for something like this to happen and hopefully to be able to change it for the best, right? Now we can plan, we can plan the breaks, we can plan what I can work on harder, we can plan what tournaments to play, when to rest. We are going to be able to make a more complete schedule than obviously we were able to make before.
BRIAN DECKER: We will open it up for questions.
Q. What have the last 48 hours been like for you?
JON RAHM: It's been a roller coaster, really. After making the putt, I was pretty excited. The emotional level was very high. It was extremely high. Then that afternoon I went to an extreme low. I was completely drained energy-wise. I have never felt so tired ever in my life.
Yesterday I had some corporate stuff and was trying to rest a little bit. Today, I almost barely finished 18 holes. I still feel tired. The first night, I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning, just way too excited what happened and couldn't believe it, right?
It's been, you know, a little bit of roller coaster. Hopefully today I can get some rest. Yeah, my phone has been blowing up. I'm not really used to getting so many WhatsApps and text messages. I'm still replying to some of them, because I just don't have time to keep up. That's always a good thing, yeah.
Q. How many text messages did you get?
JON RAHM: Well, I'll never forget the figure. When I turned on my phone after the ceremony, WhatsApps, which most of them are from Spain, was 320. And text messages was up to 75. Right now my phone, 45 minutes ago it still said 55.
If some people is watching and I haven't responded, I'm really sorry. I'm trying to keep up. It's not easy. I'm not used to it.
Q. Who is the biggest name you heard from, and what's been kind of the reaction from some of your peers?
JON RAHM: Well, it's kind of hard to evaluate. The biggest name that I have reach out to me to congratulate me in the States would be Larry Fitzgerald. It really meant a lot to me.
From back home, besides my family, would be, which is my favorite soccer player right now from our team, his name is Aridz. He actually recorded a video of me making the last putt and sent it to me. It's pretty cool to see. He was actually watching the same way I watch him in soccer games. It was pretty cool to see that.
Q. How do you contain your emotions coming back here? I'm sure there's your friends, a lot of old acquaintances, playing this tournament.
JON RAHM: It's really kind of hard. I really -- I feel like this week I'm going to have to kind of isolate myself a little bit, try to keep doing what I would do in a regular tournament, even if I'm here or back home.
If I get caught up in the moment of just keep celebrating and trying to say hello to everybody that I've met over the years here in Phoenix, I feel like I will lose track of what I have to do this week. At the end of the day, I'm in another event and I'm here to hopefully win again. You know, I have to keep myself reminding that.
Q. In the chaos after winning that thing, when did the idea of being able to play in the Masters strike you?
JON RAHM: It still hasn't really struck, really. It's probably not gonna happen until I'm flying there and I'm like, Oh, man, I'm actually going to the Masters.
It really isn't only the Masters. It's everything that comes with it. As I said many times, it's four Majors, the WGCs, the Players Championship. It's really about ten events I get into, the Invitationals. Being able to go to Memorial, Colonial, back to Congressional, Bridgestone. I mean, going to Akron has always been a big dream of mine, playing the Players.
The Masters, it's a big one, but there is a lot of other things I'm so excited I'm going to be able to go play.
Q. In November you talked about your first few weeks on tour. You had a 2nd and a 3rd right out of the gate, I think. Did being in contention then help you on Sunday kind of handle the pressure and the emotions?
JON RAHM: Of course. I was very lucky to get the taste of what it looked like very early on my pro career. First week out I learned a lot about myself. Same thing in Canada. In Canada, I applied what I learned in Congressional, but I couldn't quite get it done. I think I was tied for the lead after nine holes, and I had a putt to tie for the lead on the 18th.
Luckily, I was up there again. And after I tried to apply again what I learned, instead of missing the putt, I really worked hard on trying to get it done. I got lucky and made a 60-footer. I wasn't expecting that, but I feel on the back 9, I really applied everything I hadn't done in Canada or Congressional.
Q. If you had that same putt a hundred times, how many times do you make it?
JON RAHM: I think that's one out of a million. (Laughter.) That's once-in-a-lifetime putt. I don't think that's ever going to go in again.
Q. Serious question for you: Will the Pat Tillman jersey make an appearance at this tournament on 16 again?
JON RAHM: I like the reaction it got two years ago, so we have been working on something. I guess you guys are going to have to stay tuned to see what it is.
Q. You mentioned obviously Canada and then RBC and learning stuff about yourself. What exactly did you learn from those situations?
JON RAHM: Well, in Canada, I did what I had to on the front 9. The back 9, I kind of got a little bit relaxed, both in Congressional and Canada, right? I did what I had to do, but then I made the mistake of thinking they were going to make bogeys. I still thought I was in college where we're kids and we still make mistakes. I didn't realize we're in the big leagues. We're in the PGA TOUR, and there are always going to be one or two who won't make mistakes and not going to make it easy for you, right? So that served me.
In Canada, I kind of forgot that between 10 and 15, and when I needed it back on 16, 17, 18, I almost got it done.
But this time it was a little bit of the opposite, right? I came from the back, from behind. I was able to tie the lead, and that's when I said, Okay, nobody's going to give it to me. It's a tough course, but there's at least one or two that will keep making pars. We have to keep going.
Luckily, I was able to get it done. Really it's just keeping being aggressive instead of being content before finishing the round.
Q. In terms of schedule, you mentioned Masters and other Majors, have you thought about what the rest of your schedule might have looked like in the near future, kind of building around this?
JON RAHM: Really, it has been only a couple of days. I think that's something we are going to try to figure out this week. We are going to have to give some serious thought to see what's going to be better for me and to be rested throughout the year.
If I make it to the FedExCup playoff, which I hopefully now will, I don't want to get to the most critical part of the year completely out of energy. I don't know what it's going to be like, but hopefully sometime this week we will know something roughly.
Q. Europe factors into that, given the Ryder Cup next year?
JON RAHM: Absolutely, yeah.
Q. One of the perks of winning is you get the good tee times, and you have Jordan and Rickie this week.
JON RAHM: Yeah, I couldn't be more excited. I mean, I have been lucky enough to play with Rickie before, a nontournament. I have never played with Jordan. I've probably said about two to three words to him my entire life.
I'm really excited to be able to tee it off with those guys. They're world-class players. They are something I one day hope to be.
Q. Back on your own stomping grounds, is there anything you have to do before you leave?
JON RAHM: Well, there is a lot of things I wish I could do, especially food related, but unfortunately, the diet restrictions won't let me do it (smiling).
But, well, there is always a couple of routines. I don't think that I have really anything special. I just try to treat it like I'm back at home.
Q. What restaurants were you thinking?
JON RAHM: Just to go to Jack in the Box. Those Jack in the Box tacos were like nice midnight snack we used to have in college. I haven't eaten one in such a long time. I don't think that would help the body.
But there is just different places here, around the area, because I live close. There is a place called American Grill we go quite often. We make an appearance sometimes in happy hour at Fleming's. I don't drink, but it's just a nice menu, a little cheaper, too. It's a good time. We usually go quite often. It's half a mile from the house. We actually like it there.
There is a couple other places. True Foods, a place we go quite a bit, and there's a gas station called Tom's Thumb that I just love going in the morning. I usually stop by there and fill the tank or get the car washed, get breakfast. It's great food, and I make a little part of the morning out of it.
Q. Did you hear from Sergio or Jos√É¬© Maria or Miguel Angel after your win?
JON RAHM: Not the those three particularly. Maybe they have and I haven't read it yet. That could be a possibility.
But I did hear from Rafael Cabrera Bello, my partner in the World Cup, and if they haven't texted me anything, it's probably because they don't have my number.
Q. Do you have much of a relationship with them?
JON RAHM: Well, I would say Rafa the most. Jos√É¬©, just because we are from the same region in Spain. We have met a couple of times, actually played a little bit. He's the one who told me, Just go get out there and win early. It will make it easier.
He told me before I left, I want to see you at the Masters. So hopefully if he's healthy, I will see him there.
And Sergio, I don't know if he has my cell phone or not. I'm pretty sure when he sees me in person he will say something.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports