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February 2, 2017

Jon Rahm

Scottsdale, Arizona

Q. You're the local flavor right now. Give us a quick overview of your round today and maybe the experience at 16.
JON RAHM: Well, you know, I hit the ball probably a lot better than what the score says. I hit the driver really well the front 9 up until 18, front 9, barely missed the fairway.

The back 9, everything was going good until 3. It was the best swing. And after that, I felt like I missed the fairway by like just a yard every single time. And missing the fairway here can be penalizing, especially with how firm the greens are.

That kind of took a couple shots off me. But I played a pretty solid round. I'm happy with it. It felt great. It's just I couldn't make a couple putts I had between 10 and 15 feet. That was a big difference.

Q. Who got the idea for the T-shirt on 16? Was that you or somebody else?
JON RAHM: Yeah, that was me. That is one of my nicknames. I did it two years ago, and I enjoyed it. Today was a little bit early for anybody to be there, but I'm pretty sure tomorrow they will be a little louder.

Q. How did this experience compare to your first experience out here?
JON RAHM: My first experience was a lot different. I feel like I have more supporters now after last week, right? A lot of people know who I am, but when I came here as an ASU player with an ASU bag, people realized. They knew I was an amateur, so I got a lot of sympathy and a lot of support from the guys, especially on 16. Even if I missed the green first day, I got a lot of support from people, and that was really cool.

The first experience was a lot better. I don't think it can be improved unless I win one year.

Q. Have you thought about how much it's changed since then?
JON RAHM: I have thought about it so many times, so many times. Not here but last week. I remember last year I was driving my girlfriend's car with her, and she caddied with me on the Monday qualifier for the Farmers Insurance Open. And next year I'm in it and I win it.

That was when it hit me how much it changed, right? This tournament, a two-year difference, which is a little longer, not as shocking as the other one, but it still is. When I came here as an amateur, I was so naive, such a rookie on the golf course. I had no idea what to do. I was scared of being in everybody's way.

And today I get paired with Jordan and Rickie in the feature group. That's quite a change. That's for sure.

Q. How good was the par you made on 5? You hooked the drive, you hit a fan, hit the fan's water bottle out of her pocket.
JON RAHM: I did? Nobody told me.

Q. Then dropped down and you had a plug line in the bunker? How good was that?
JON RAHM: Well, I didn't hook it. I was trying to fade it and it went dead straight. It was one of those. I missed it by three yards. I didn't know I hit someone.

Then the second shot, I was trying to just have it roll up to center of the green, just right of the bunker and roll up and 2-putt, and I just -- the club face grabbed in the grass, the rough, which is pretty thick. It just went right at the pin. Two out of two bunkers plugged, which is not a good percentage.

That bunker shot, it wasn't easy, but all I needed to do was just get it up on the first five feet of the green. If I could fly it there, I knew the ball would release.

It's hard to control how close it's gonna go, but anything inside of five feet I would have been more than happy.

Q. The crowd, compare it to anything you have played in your career.
JON RAHM: Well, I have played with crowds like this before, especially a lot of them that supported me, right? It's a lot different than having people that are not with me. It's always helpful.

It's great when you hit a shot, and even if you're not happy with it, when people clap for you, they appreciate it, it always brings you up. Even with some bad moments where I got frustrated on No. 8, so much people cheering. Even if I made bogey, it kind of helped me out on No. 9, I hit the tee shot in the fairway and a good second shot. If anything, it's always going to be helpful.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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