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January 18, 2018

Jon Rahm

La Quinta, California

Q. Before today's round 64 was your lowest round on TOUR. Today you come out and shoot a 62. I know that La Quinta is a gettable course, tons of birdies out there, but how did you put it together?
JON RAHM: It's all thanks to the start I had. I was 6-under through seven holes and with a couple missed putts. Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come into your head, 60, maybe 59, Adam Hadwin did it last year with worse weather than this. But it was thanks to that. It was a couple great shots on 1 and 2 and then a great one on number 4 to set up the eagle putt and after that kind of just kept it going, stayed patient, I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it.

Q. Take us in that mindset. A couple of lipouts but you mentioned 6-under through seven holes. At the turn how did you kind of calm your nerves going into the back nine, knowing a 59 has happened on this course last year?
JON RAHM: Well I wasn't really nervous I was more excited, if anything. I did hit a couple good shots, I mean I hit good shots on 8 and 9 and I missed the putt, but I think the hardest one was 10. I hit a great shot, hit it to five feet, I think I had a pretty good read, put a good stroke on it and I was going to start thinking, okay, it's easy to get ahead of yourself, you got a couple par-5s coming in, try to swing extra hard, but you know, I made a couple good swings and was able to make birdie on the par-5s and was still 8-under par through whatever, 13 holes, which is a heck of a round and it ought to be, right? And then what happened? Maybe I relaxed a little too much, I missed a couple of iron shots and had to struggle for pars. But I'm just thankful to finish the way I did with a birdie on the 18th hole which is always great for momentum.

Q. Century Tournament of Champions, runner-up finish, you come out here and you get off to a great start, but having to switch courses, how do you carry that momentum to another course?
JON RAHM: Well it's exactly why I had a week off, trying to forget about that week because that week is so unique you get these massive fairways, big slopes, a lot of grainy greens, tons of wind, it's unlike what we play all year long. In fact when I came back to Phoenix the first round I played it was quite bad, just because I was aiming so far left on every hole because of the wind that we had most of the time left-to-right at Kapalua. So thanks to that week off I was able to get my game back in order and play good today. This type of golf is something I love, La Quinta is really, really similar to Phoenix Country Club, which I played many times, I've also shot 10-under there, funny enough, and it's just really familiar to what I'm used to playing. Four years of college on these golf courses, it's something you're not going to forget, so just happy to start the tournament the way I did.

Q. Take us inside the mindset of when you are playing this type of course, you mentioned yesterday in the press conference you played for a school 250 miles away, so you played on these courses quite frequently in college tournaments, what specifically translates when you get on to courses like this?
JON RAHM: Essentially it's the same, but the stakes are a little higher, obviously. No, just the fact that I'm a little better player than when I was in college, I've improved a little bit and if I was able to shoot low scores then, any time I come to those I feel like, okay, conditions are great, greens are beyond perfect, if you hit good shots you're going to make birdies and things can happen. That's kind of the mindset I get. It didn't happen last year, I was 9-under last year in four days and I'm 10-under today. So things have changed a little bit, but again I think I'm just familiar with this type of golf course, again like you mentioned, I played it so many times I'm just comfortable playing around here.

Q. On 15, the bunker shot you weren't very happy with, you made a really, really good putt there to keep it going.
JON RAHM: It was key to make that putt.

Q. Did you feel like you left, I know you shot 10-under, 62, but did you maybe left a few out there that caught a lot of edges?
JON RAHM: That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every single shot perfect. I do feel like I could have made a couple more putts, just because I had so many that were makeable, but there's a couple birdie putts, like the one on 14, that, if I'm being quite honest, I did not hit the line I wanted and it still went in dead center. So it's just golf. It's going to give you what it takes from you. Overall, you got to look at bigger picture, birdie the last hole, a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10-under par. There's not much more I can ask for.

Q. Walk us through the eagle.
JON RAHM: The eagle? It's quite simple, honestly, beyond perfect drive, perfect second shot, perfect putt. That's all I can say.

Q. How far was the second shot?
JON RAHM: How far was the second shot? Let me tell you, I got it. I think it was 195 meters. Because I do meters.

Q. 12 feet?
JON RAHM: No, more like five. 195 meters, so it's 215 yards.

Q. What did you hit?
JON RAHM: 5-iron. It was really good distance for a 5-iron. It landed about 15 feet short and rolled up to about pin high.

Q. Other than the one day at Torrey last week, where did you spend time working on your game on that week off? Did you come out here or?
JON RAHM: Well I was home from Monday until Thursday, just kind of working more on my body than the swing because I kind of needed to reset. And played Wednesday morning at TPC in Scottsdale. I did not play great. And then I was in San Diego. I went to San Diego because I had to go to a Torrey Pines Media Day, also took a chance to go to TaylorMade and Adidas and practice just in San Diego with a couple of friends during the week and Monday morning.

Q. You have the short break, are you really pleased with how you've now come out just kind of kept playing the way you were before?
JON RAHM: So far I've lasted one time playing in 2018 so I should be happy about that. But no I'm extremely glad that I did what I did. Almost five week, four weeks without touching a club, only four times in five weeks, right, I'm just excited the fact that something like that works so well. I feel super rested and really in peace with my game and I think it shows. Kapalua wasn't the best ball striking week of my life, but I was able to scramble really well and keep calm and have a good score. Today it was a complete opposite, I had one of the base ball striking days of my life and just had it going. I'm just glad things are going the way they're going right now.

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