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January 7, 2018

Jon Rahm

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. A very impressive performance his first time here at Kapalua. First things first, can you get used to starting your year this way?
JON RAHM: Hardly, no, not really. Of course. Not because of where you are, but what it means, because if you're here it means you're a champion. It means you had a pretty accomplished year. But it's a pretty great experience to be able to come to Maui early and enjoy Hawaii for a couple of days before the tournament starts. It will definitely be one of my plans. Hopefully I can do it with this year's coming play.

Q. You've had a meteoric rise to No. 4 in the world. A lot of people put you in the conversation now of eventually No. 1. You see the way that Dustin Johnson is playing at No. 1 in the world this week, dominating. What do you think you need to do to continue that rise?
JON RAHM: Make a lot more putts, apparently. Yeah, I said it yesterday, it's no easy task to catch D.J. He's an extremely consistent player and what happened at the HSBC, it's just really extremely rare for him, right? So we all -- I think I knew the fact that after what happened then, he also had a big lead here, he was going to play good. I mean when he was 5-under through 11, I think we were all looking forward to finishing in second place. At least that was my battle for the last six holes.

But, yeah, obviously if I keep playing good, keep working, keep learning about myself, I just need to keep getting better scores without my A game like I have this week. So hopefully I can keep playing good and maybe some day be No. 1. If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be, but it's definitely one of my goals.

Q. I felt like if it weren't for that little stretch right there in the middle of the round it could have been something special today. But all in all a pretty good week the way you fought back.
JON RAHM: I mean I don't think I would have won. But, yeah, from No. 6 on there was a lot of good putts that I hit -- actually, early on as well. The one on 3 I was right on the edge. There was about three or four putts that were right on line, a couple rolls short. But, yeah, that stretch between 9 and 13, that kind of got me. I feel like it got me every single day. I don't think I've been able to make a birdie on 10 through 12.

Q. They say it's hard to learn your way around this golf course in the first sort of time there. How do you think you evolved as the week went on and what do you take away from the experience?
JON RAHM: I feel like I've been more comfortable each time. The first few days I was still a little hesitant because it's hard to picture some of the lines, because you can't see the ball to trust the line to some places. It's just hard. But the more I played the more comfortable I got and definitely a round like yesterday helped that a lot.

Q. I know that you're going to take a week off and then we'll see you for the West Coast Swing coming up. You're going to defend at Torrey and all the things that come with it. Year two, having the experience in those sort of places that you've been, how does that help prepare you for this stretch of golf coming up to kind of get 2018 going?
JON RAHM: Well, I'm kind of hoping to have a stretch like last year. I'm playing those because three of them I absolutely love playing. Palm Springs, I didn't play good last year, so hopefully I play good this year, too. I do have Big Horn on the bag, so make a little appearance there. I don't have to but, obviously, I want to keep them happy. They have been helping me out a lot.

And then the rest, obviously, defending champion, Phoenix, and Pebble, which I just love. So, hopefully, I can have -- I'm confident I'm going to play good. All those golf courses set up for my game pretty good, so, hopefully, I can keep it going and get the year started.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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