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June 16, 2019

Jon Rahm

Pebble Beach, California

Q. What was your thinking coming in, 32 on the front? What was your strategy to try and contend today?
JON RAHM: Well, my number in mind was to get to 10-under par. That was the goal for today. I do realize 6-under was a tough score out there. But it's been done twice this week, and I thought it was definitely possible, especially with the start I got in, 3-under through 7, great second shot on 8 with a chance for birdie.

I thought it was definitely possible. But that stretch of 8 through 13 at Pebble Beach is so difficult. You need to hit so many good shots in a row. I hit two good tee shots on 9 and 10 and ended up in bad spots and had to save pars, and then one error off the tee on 13 -- sorry, on 15, and that 10-under number kind of disappeared.

But still, 3-under par is a heck of a round. I know a couple of guys got really, really hot. Xander and Adam Scott were both 5-under through 10, which is an incredible run today. They both ended up like 3- or 4-under. So it shows how difficult the back nine is and how well you have to play to even shoot even par.

Still a great score, still a great U.S. Open, and hopefully I can progress in this event in the future.

Q. You said after the first round that you were very happy with the score that you had; it was your best first round in the U.S. Open. And you've been right there every day in contention. Positive takeaways?
JON RAHM: A lot of them. I mean, you just said it, it's the first time ever I shoot four rounds under par in a U.S. Open. It's been a while since I shot four rounds under par in a row. I'm happy. It was my 9th top-10 of the year, hopefully. Still a great year, a lot going. I think my third top-5 in a major, or at least top-10. Hopefully if I stay top-5 this week and top-5 of The Open, and I get my top-5 Grand Slam, which is not a bad thing to have. Still an accomplishment.

That's I'm going with, three solid rounds, a lot of good golf and a lot of good mental moments where my golf wasn't the best. That second round I started poorly and ended up great. Even today when things went wrong, I still gave myself chances and ended up with a birdie. A lot of positives to take. Hopefully this is a start of a good run in U.S. Opens.

Q. Is it a good feeling with the results that you've had knowing that when your competitors see Jon Rahm's name on the leaderboard that high up, they know they have something to worry about?
JON RAHM: I hope. I like being up there. It's when I play my best golf. Anytime you get up in contention it just somehow feels a little bit easier for me to focus on what I have to do, to get focused on that and kind of evade a little bit about what's going on in the tournament. Obviously I was a little far away. When you get within three shots it's fun to do. It's what we practice for and play for. And it's the most fun to play golf, when that matters so much and every shot is critical. I enjoyed it a lot so I hope I'm a force to be reckoned with. I like to think I am, myself. Just looking forward to being in this spot again.

Q. The great tradition of Spanish players, do you feel now, your generation, you, must take the baton and it's your time to continue that great tradition? Do you think about that and talk about it?
JON RAHM: No, because there's still a lot of competitive players. Sergio is still a great player, Rafa Cabrera Bello is still playing great. There's many European players who are still playing great. Jorge Campillo who just won in Morocco. It is true, Alejandro who qualified this week, we were both the same age, we played junior golf together, is playing good. There's a lot of people my age and my generation playing good. You can't disregard Sergio, he's got many wins worldwide and on the PGA Tour, and great finishes in the major. I don't think he's ready to pass the torch yet, even though we're ready, I don't think he's ready to pass it along, and rightfully so.

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