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May 10, 2017

Jon Rahm

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

JON RAHM: This is a really different golf course. There's a few golf courses in the world that allows anybody to win. Long hitters don't have a particular advantage, so I'll try to play some smart good and see if I can do good on the rest.

Q. You play aggressively; is it a little bit more difficult to dial it back here? You kind of have to change the mindset, right?
JON RAHM: Yeah, it is hard. I'm not going to lie. There's a lot of holes where I would just love it tee it up and rip driver, but I can't. You know, I've just got to be smart. It's going to be hard to be smart. Just try to keep it in the fairway, the short grass. Everybody has been telling me that. It's been good advice, but it's still hard for me to want to show up on 18 and when I see a long par-4 to not hit driver. It's something me and my caddie will have to talk about, but I'm pretty sure I'll be using some irons this week.

Q. Is that kind of one of the things with inexperience, just kind of having to learn these things from place to place and learn the tricks of how to play?
JON RAHM: Yeah. I mean, learning the tricks is always important. Courses like this especially. This is a really tricky course, but I'd like to think that Karsten golf course at ASU is a Pete Dye design, so hopefully I can get some positivity. It's not nearly as difficult, but maybe I can take back something that I learned there, and basically what I learned is that even if the hole is short, even being close to the green doesn't mean you have a better chance of birdie. In my home event I put a lot of emphasis on -- I emphasized a lot on keeping it in the fairway, keep it closer to the fairway, even if it was farther back, so that's what I'm going to do this week. I might have some longer irons in, but hey, I'd rather have a couple pars than a bunch of bogeys and a bunch of birdies.

Q. You've got a lot of guys under 30 winning; what's your theory on what's going on there? Is it just you're more prepared coming out or just no fear?
JON RAHM: Well, I think starting with Spieth, we all saw he was a 20-year-old doing what he did. 21 or 22, he was already winning majors, so I think that got all of us a lot more competitive than we already were, and then, you know, the beginning of the year was just a bunch of rookies winning. We got Cody Gribble, then Mackenzie Hughes, then I won Torrey. The trend kept going. It's been something that started since I finished fifth in Phoenix I would say. I finished top 10 there, then you have Paul Dunne in the Open. You just had a lot of amateurs, people that we play on a day-to-day basis with in college doing some stuff that we maybe didn't conceive or didn't think was imaginable. I think that opened our eyes and gave all of us a lot of confidence.

Q. Have you leaned on anybody for advice when playing this course this week?
JON RAHM: Well, I played with Sergio yesterday. Everybody tells me the same thing: Keep it in the fairway. They really haven't told me anything special. You know, based on what kind of player Sergio is and seeing him play over the years, it's basically you've got to be smart. Obviously he's a great iron player, much more accurate than I've been, and I'll try my best, but mission number one is keep it in the fairway. Once you keep it in the fairway, we'll see what we do from there.

Q. This being your first year, how difficult is it to learn your golf courses, and what's been the hardest part of showing up every week not knowing the golf course?
JON RAHM: Well, coming from college, we only had one practice round and we had to learn the course. I'm kind of used to doing it quickly. But I would say I rely massively on my caddie Adam. It's his 18th year on TOUR. He knows every golf course perfectly. I think by now he knows my game pretty good, too. I rely on what he tells me. If he says driver is driver, I'll hit driver. If it's an iron, it's an iron. Maybe at some point later in the week after I play a couple times and I see the course I'll feel more comfortable making other plays, but I try to listen to what he says, especially on courses like this and Augusta. Not Torrey because that's drivers everywhere pretty much, but on trickier courses I just listen to what he tells me, and more often than not he's right, unless I just don't want to hit that club because I'm not feeling well, but most of the times he gives pretty much perfect advice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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