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May 22, 2019

Jon Rahm

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: Go ahead and get started. We'd like to welcome Jon Rahm into the interview room her at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Jon, obviously no stranger to Colonial. First of all, only two-time winner of the Hogan Award which I know means a lot to you. Talk about taking part in the Hogan Award ceremony on Monday night and what that means to have that on your resume.

JON RAHM: Well, there is no secret it's one of my favorite weeks all year. Like you said, the Been Hogan Award has a lot to do with it. You know, being a champion, only being a finalist; I mean, part of the legacy of Mr. Hogan's career and life, it's a huge accomplishment. I've been treated so well have time I come to Forth Worth. Love that dinner and that day so much.

I told them every time I keep coming back to play this event I'll be here on Monday night to be at that dinner. They were gracious enough to invite me to be the speaker this year, which was great. I really welcome it. It's great to answer the questions and try to guide of give the finalists advice, which some of them are seniors turning pros and some staying in college. So a little bit of guidance of what I went through.

It's always great to be able to help them out and support the event and Mr. Hogan, right? He did a lot for the game of golf, and I'm one of those who is trying to grow the game. I take it as a mission as well rather than just playing golf. Trying to grow it and do my part to make this wonderful sport even bigger. I try to do my best to support functions like this one.

THE MODERATOR: And you have a runner-up finish and a fifth place finish in two starts at this event. What will it take this week to get over the hump to add this win to your total?

JON RAHM: Well, it's been to different years. I think two years ago I think I shot 9-under, I believe, and I was one off Kevin Kisner in the final round. Last year I believe shot around the same, 10-, 11-under, and I think I was about 11 shots back from the win. So the winning score is very different.

We have a very I think high wind forecasted this week, so I don't see it being 20-under again. I'll be surprised. If it is, I hope it's me. It's just beautiful golf course that you need to learn how to play.

Last year I might have taken a few more risks than I needed to with the weather we had. Obviously the first year being difficult, hitting drivers and being straight helped out, and missing the fairway wasn't that much of a penalty.

Last year with the wind being down, Rosey came in and he was laying up in fairways and having 9-iron, 8-irons, and I was hitting wedges from the rough. He was much more accurate than I was.

Maybe a change on strategy there, but just picking when to be aggressive. Still need to play good. Still feel like I need to play the horseshoe a little better. I do think 3 and 5 have been the best of my scores last few years.

If I can get those done and play better, I'll have a chance.

THE MODERATOR: Before we open up to questions, you just recently won in New Orleans with Colonial member and local favorite Ryan Palmer. Talk a little bit about what that experience was like.

JON RAHM: It was great. I think we're the most let's say unexpected partnership to show up at New Orleans. It worked. We've played together many times. Ryan will always have a special spot in my career, because when I was playing as amateur in Phoenix on Sunday I played with him and he had a great round and shot 6-under par and I saw what it took to be able to win on tour.

He didn't win that day; he finished second. So I saw what you need to do to win a tournament on tour. That day helped out a lot for the future, and all the practice rounds we played together. Man, we had very similar game. Both hit it good off the tee, good iron game. He's always been known to be a good putter even though he struggled a little bit the last few years.

One day the opportunity came up. I think he was a little bit more thankful than he should be because he's a great partner as well to have. I was very confident to play with somebody who has such strength off the tee. On a course like that putting it in the fairway constantly I knew we were going to be able to do good, and we played good and were able to make the putts at the right time.

It was a very unique win to be able to share that moment with Ryan and his family. To be there and win after nine years was very emotional, and I was very, very proud to be able to share that with him. The only thing is I wish I would've hit the last bunker shot better so he could get the winning putt and get all the glory. But, man, he played great that Sunday.


Q. Jon, would you say you have in any Hogan-esque aspect to your game on the course?
JON RAHM: I don't think I relate that much to Mr. Hogan. He was very different. I think the closest nowadays to be Hogan-esque is a Bryson. The engineer and the science aspect of the game he put. Yesterday I was on the range trying all these the clubs he engineered and created. It was unbelievable to see all the things he came up with that he never shared with anybody and appeared on the game of golf 30 years later.

I mean, I'm using a club to practice, DSD club. It's compression wedge I use to practice that has a very heavy balance. He gave me a club he kind of created that would never dig on the ground and for practice. I looked at it and I'm like, besides the bent shaft it's the exact same golf club.

So it's unbelievable to see him come up with this in the '50s and 60s. The DSD club is not old, maybe five years old if I am not mistaken. So it's crazy to see that difference and how much investment is going on in his career. I don't think that much on the golf clubs. I think there are people that have studied very long to be able to do that. Wasn't that many back then.

When it comes to the game, after seeing his clubs we do have a very similar through-the-ball motion with the irons. I could hit his clubs no problem and hit a fade fine because I'm used to just rotating my body as hard as I can.

A lot of his swing tutorials he says once you get to the backswing, the hips give you the plane and the downswing and the power. Gary Player always said that, but Ben exaggerates it a little bit. That's the same thing I have in mine. Once I get to the top my hips fire and the clubs just falls into plane.

Q. I heard you got to hit some of Ben Hogan's clubs yesterday on the range. What was that experience like?
JON RAHM: It's great to see some clubs with such low bounce. Not on a wedge. Like 9-, 6-, 4-irons. It's incredible. If you're not shallow you're definitely going to stamp the ground pretty hard.

Like i said, it's impressive to see how he developed the golf clubs do play golf the way he wanted. Everyone says Ben Hogan was a fader; he was a fader because those clubs were made to hit fades. You cannot hook those golf clubs.

He actually based on his swing, he would be a hooker. Nice big draws. He was a fader of the ball. So it's crazy to see how somebody just said, okay, I'm going to change my golf clubs instead of my swing to be able to hi the way I wanted.

It was really cool. I enjoyed it. He played it I think four or five degrees flat from standing; I play two upright, so I definitely had to get my hands low to swing. It was a very fun experience like I said since there is a height difference between us. The swing motion is very similar, so I actually felt quite comfortable hitting them.

THE MODERATOR: I heard you threw a little challenge out to Bryson DeChambeau about those clubs. How would just a one-on-one go?

JON RAHM: I didn't. I did not. I just wanted to se it. Bryson, he's got 13 degrees upright nowadays; 18 degree difference. He probably can hit it because he's a very talented player, but it's a massive difference from how he's used to swinging. I just wanted to see it. I don't know if he did it.


JON RAHM: If I could, it would be fun to see.

Q. Can you just talk about the field and kind of how exciting is it to have five top 10 guys and obviously a lot of top 20, 30 guys in this field this week?
JON RAHM: It says a lot about the event. You know, I heard a lot of people say, and I hear constantly, this is one of the best one tournaments all year, one of the best golf courses, one of the best people are on the golf course, and, again, the organization is unbelievable.

It makes it for people like me and all the other great players in the world to want to come and play. It's definitely a unique experience and says a lot about the event, right? For us it's great. I hope more of the top players in the world want to come because it's definitely a great experience.

Obviously now being after a major a lot of people are going to take a rest. I know Brooks finished second last year and after winning the PGA he might not come, but it's definitely a stop that's worth it to come and one that I always look forward to. It's one of those weeks I'll never change in my calendar.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take a question from one of our First Tee reporters and then wrap it up.

Q. What happens when you hit a bad shot? What do you do afterwards?
JON RAHM: That's a great question for me I guess. It all depends. This week is a little different just because of how windy it is. We're going to miss a lot of shots.

The first thing I get in my mind when you miss a shot is a little bit disappointment. Again, depends on the shot, right? If it's a hard 3-wood into the green sometimes you're almost expecting to miss it. If you miss a wedge shot, well, not happy about it. We all get mad. We don't like it.

It's part of golf. It happens. We're all going to have different reactions to it. I try to maybe after 20, 30 steps after hitting the shot I try to forgot it and go to the next one.

It's a little bit of a change from Tiger. I think Tiger's dad told him the 10-step policy. After 10 steps you have to forget about the shot and go to the next one. I extended a little bit more because takes me a little longer than Tiger to get over things.

But it's golf. We all miss shots and we all get mad. If anybody tells you don't get mad, we all do. It's normal when you want to do something and you do it different than you expected. It's okay. It's all about how you react and come back to the next shot and try to hit it better.

THE MODERATOR: Good advice and best of luck this week and for your time today.

JON RAHM: Thank you.

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