home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 4, 2018

Jon Rahm

Ballyliffin, Republic of Ireland

NEIL AHERN: Jon many thanks for joining us today. Welcome back to Ireland. Weather slightly different to the last time you were here on Sunday at Portstewart.

JON RAHM: Slightly. Sunday was the only bad day, really the rest of the week was actually quite nice. Saturday was just like this.

NEIL AHERN: So how does it feel to be back and maybe first of all tell me about your memories of that win last year.

JON RAHM: What am I really going to say about the last year that I haven't said. It was, for many reasons, a very special win. The most important one is because it was my first European Tour win.

To be in the history of Spanish players related to that win: Sergio being his first European Tour win or professional win was that one, same as mine, Seve won it three times, Olazábal; it's a rich history of Spanish players winning. It's a great honor to join that list and hopefully keep coming back and become a multiple champion like Seve was. Hopefully he can keep that going.

NEIL AHERN: You just came off the course. New course in The Irish Open rota. What can you tell us about it?

JON RAHM: It's never been played here before? I think it's an outstanding golf course. I know the weather is not what is usually going to happen out here but it's beautiful.

The good weather the last few weeks has set up the course extremely firm so if we get a bit of wind it's going to be really fun to play out here and it's going to be fun and it's going to be a test. Even right now with that much win, it's hard for me to stop irons on the green. Any bit of downwind will make it challenging.

It's definitely fun. It makes it harder for people like me to take advantage of our length because it's hard to keep it on the fairway. It really makes you think on your strategy and makes it more accessible for everybody else.

Q. Just ask you about your impressions of the course. What have your impressions been of Ballyliffin so far?
JON RAHM: I think it's one of the most golf courses I've ever played, truly. It's absolutely stunning. The views from the 14th tee and the 7th tee are probably some of the prettiest sights you'll get in golf. To me it doesn't get anymore like golf than a pretty view on a links golf course to be honest. It's really beautiful.

It's a tough test and not the easiest golf course. Last year we had a very similar golf course where it was a little more wet and slower and windier and rain, and had a good week and I can shoot some low scores.

But out here with how firm it is, even if we get no wind, it's going to be tough to be shooting low. Hopefully we'll get some wind and the course will show how tough it can actually play.

Q. Last year when you won, you developed such a rapport with the fans and they cheered you on almost as if you were Irish. What's it been like so far this week?
JON RAHM: It's been really special because it's -- I mean, the support I get out here, like even last year playing with Rory McIlroy, I never expected anybody to even know my name. Or they knew enough to even mention it because I was playing with Rory and was playing good, but I had a great support of fans out there.

I don't know if it's Spanish players, or just me and my character that really connects with the Irish people but it's amazing to be a champion and to be an Irish champion. To come back, and the respect I've gotten, it's absolutely mind-blowing. If it's not better, it's equivalent to how well I get treated in Spain, and that's hard to do, because Spanish players are cherished. It's hard to be a great player coming out of Spain.

To come back and get the same recognition, it's absolutely amazing. Everywhere I go around here, a lot of people tell me they hope I defend my title again. I would probably expect everybody to think Rory or Graeme or Shane or somebody who is actually from Ireland to win but to get the same recognition is absolutely special.

Q. You're obviously defending champion. Is there anything you learned from your Farmers title defence earlier this year that you're taking into this week and how does it affect you going into this week being defending champion?
JON RAHM: There's some things I can learn from but it's difficult. I was actually second place going into the weekend at the Farmers, and they got weather that I had never seen at Torrey Pines there. I've never played Torrey Pines with high wind and that's what it got over the weekend. The course got firm and frankly I was not playing good.

It was hard to judge based on that. I'm hitting the ball much better. I'm feeling much better and I don't think the golf course is going to change much in the next few days because it is what it is and it can either be more windy or less windy. We already expect that. I'm feeling good, feeling confident and hopefully I can have a good show and give myself a chance on Sunday.

Q. How difficult is it adjusting your game to links golf to this part of the year?
JON RAHM: Well, luckily, playing last week in France, I think it's pretty adjusted. I know even if it's in Paris, inland, it's the most links golf course you're going to get pretty much anywhere. It was windy. It's pretty similar. You just try to hit it on the fairway, on the green, 2-putt and go to the next hole. It's not the easiest thing for me to do, especially off the tee because I like to hit it high with the driver but the wind affects the ball a lot more here than it does in the States.

Q. Where does that eagle in the final round last year rank in terms of your best career shots?
JON RAHM: I mean, the only discussion I could have is between that eagle and the putt on Torrey Pines? They are both eagle shots. They are both extremely unexpected, but the one at Torrey being on 18 to win the tournament, is what gives it the edge over the one last year.

Last year's being on one of the last few holes, it would have made a difference or having won by one shot or two, but since I played so good after that, it's still an incredible shot. Don't get me wrong. I remember telling Adam, if I hit the green, if I hit it six yards past the pin, I will be extremely happy. To see the shot I hit and what happened, it was very unexpected.

Just because it was on 18 and to actually win the tournament, I think would be the second-best shot I've hit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297