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 17, 2019

Jon Rahm

Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

STUART MOFFAT: It's my pleasure to welcome Jon Rahm to the interview room.

Welcome to Royal Portrush. You've had a lot of success in Ireland after winning two Irish Opens, and you must be hoping to continue that success this week and lift the Claret Jug.

JON RAHM: Yeah, I can't disagree with that obviously. Yeah, really looking forward to playing. Always excited to be here. Always excited to be staying pretty much in the same town you won a tournament in.

So hopefully looking forward to keeping the streak of good golf in Ireland and Northern Ireland going. I'm excited definitely, so looking forward to it.

Q. Padraig Harrington has previously said that he doesn't like playing in the wind and rain, but when he has to he feels he has an advantage over the rest of the field. As someone who's proved that you can win in similar courses to Portrush and in similar conditions, what are your thoughts on that?
JON RAHM: I wouldn't say I have an advantage but it's a similar thought. I don't think anybody likes playing in cold, rain, and wind. I mean, nobody truly enjoys it. But some days like that where technique, plans, systems, strategies, you've got to throw that out the window and survive a round. Each shot is the most important shot. And you have to trust your feel more than anything else.

What you usually do is when it's raining sideways, it's a little bit hard to trust. You've got to get the ball in the hole any way possible. It doesn't need to look pretty. It's try to figure it out. You have to battle it.

Padraig has been one of those who has always been really good at getting a good result out of what he's had on that day. It's what makes him great. That second round at Birkdale was unbelievable, right? It was one of the worst weather conditions you could have imagined, he shot 3-, 4-under, beating pretty much everybody in his bracket on that day.

He's definitely an expert. He's done that a lot more than I have. But when the weather is rough, it's difficult. You just feel it out and you just have to battle. It's more of a mental game than anything else.

Q. It was about Padraig, he reckons you're one of the best drivers in the field. If the wind blows it plays to your advantage.
What can you take from Lahinch into this week?

JON RAHM: Well, the good thing about Lahinch is that it was quite a tricky golf course. It was similar on the shots into the green. You had to be very precise. There wasn't many pot bunkers around the greens for the most part but there was a lot of runoffs. The shots into the green were very, very similar.

There was elevation changes, side wind for the most part and into the wind. So you really had to be precise. Unless you get unlucky in a pot bunker and get no stance, a lot of times the up-and-down is doable. If you go in some of those runoffs and go a ways from the green and have a big hill in front of and not much to work with, it's quite hard to get an up-and-down. I think Lahinch helped out in that sense.

And links golf, I mean, it's hard to win an Open Championship without putting the ball in the fairway. There's very few who have been able to do it. Seve being the master at doing that. It's hard to do.

Driving is definitely important. I like to think I'm a good driver of the golf ball, but when the conditions get difficult it's really hard to do.

Again, it's what I said earlier, you have to figure out a way to put it on the fairway, no matter how.

Q. The question what makes you play so well in California. This month the question is what makes you play so well in Ireland, no? And what connection with your homeland and where you come from?
JON RAHM: I really don't know. I just like it. Ever since the week -- the first time I played it here, well, in Portstewart two years ago, the Irish crowd is treating me very, very specially. I've had a great support. And it's the closest I'll ever feel to playing at home, without being at home, really. That's what I think makes it so special.

The first year I didn't expect it. I didn't expect the support. And I think Spanish people have a lot of pride about the country of Spain, and being Basque, Basque people have a lot of pride in being Basque, and especially in my city. I think Northern Irish people are really proud of their country and to be where they're from. I feel that's a similarity and have a similar feel.

When I'm walking around my hometown in Spain, for the most part of the year we get similar weather. Summer is a little bit better. We're right on the coast, fishing villages. It's just a very similar feel to what I had growing up. So it's a lot of home feel, too, without being at home.

Q. Do you feel at all that having won twice on Irish soil that it gives you any feel good, psychological advantage?
JON RAHM: Definitely. A lot of positives to take from it. If I ever have doubt, which I shouldn't, I can always remind me that I've been able to win twice here. That's the reason why I can get it done.

There's a lot of positive in that sense. A lot of confidence in knowing that I'm more than capable to win an Open Championship, to win on a links golf course.

Q. Have you managed to catch up with Thomas Pieters, since he was poking fun at your outfit at Wimbledon?
JON RAHM: No, I haven't seen him this week.

Q. He had some fun on Twitter.
JON RAHM: I saw the Tweet. I haven't seen him, no. And I'm not necessarily going to look for him after something like that.

Q. It's quite a unique ensemble. Do you usually dress like that?
JON RAHM: I mean, I like to stay up with modern fashions. I can always say that wasn't my first choice of shirt to wear. The tie was; the shirt wasn't. Still, you've got to wear it with confidence, that's all I can say.

Q. Was it the only one that was there, the only one that was ironed and ready to go?
JON RAHM: Yeah, for reasons -- for just it didn't come, the shirt I wanted to wear didn't come from the dry cleaners in time. But still, it's one of the shirts I have that I've worn before. It's not meant to be worn with a suit. I'd rather not go to a Royal box with a starred shirt. But it's what I had. I got compliments in the Royal box. As far as I'm concerned it was a good day.

Q. Have you done anything to replicate your experience in terms of staying in the same place, eating in the same place, anything like that?
JON RAHM: Last time we stayed in Portrush, actually on Kerr Street. But this year it's a little bit busier than two years ago.

I'm kind of switching it. We stayed in Portrush, playing in Portstewart. This year we're staying in Portstewart, playing in Portrush.

When we were here two years ago, we went to the Harbour Bistro six out of seven nights. I did go there Sunday, but it was just too busy of an area. I do know the owner, Matt, and I know we can get a table, it's just a little bit too busy for my liking on tournament week. I don't think I'm be going there. Maybe Sunday night, hopefully, before I have to go to Memphis.

But I don't think I'll be going there again, just a little too much going on.

Q. Also looking at your record in the majors for the next couple of years, you either contend, get in the top-10 or miss the cut. Are you trying to find the middle ground or can you explain that part at all?
JON RAHM: I can't explain it, really. I don't know. I would like to find the middle ground but truth be told there's not much difference between finishing 50th, 40th, and 30th, to me, unless you are contending for the tournament. Making the cut or not doesn't make the difference.

Q. The Americans obviously are dominating the major wins at the moment in recent times. But do you feel you and your European peers have got the talent to change that around in the near future, perhaps even this week?
JON RAHM: I mean, I'm not going to say no. That would be putting doubts on myself and all my peers. Yes, of course. I think the talent is there, I believe it goes in waves, right? There's going to be times when the Americans are going to win more and there's going to be times when the Europeans are going to win more. I've got to say, three of the four majors are played in the U.S. If we're talking in that way, they do have certain part of an advantage, there's a lot more U.S players than European players in the higher ranking. In the 80's the Europeans started a wave of European wins for a very long time. So hopefully we can replicate that a couple years later. Hopefully we can start it this week and hopefully I'm the one to start it.

Q. I know it's a very small sample size, but do you have any explanation for why you haven't played as well in this championship but you do have great success on other links golf courses?
JON RAHM: I didn't really hear you. Can you repeat the question?

Q. I know it's a small sample size, but can you offer any explanation of why you haven't necessarily played your best in this championship but you do have success on a lot of other links golf courses?
JON RAHM: I can't tell you, honestly. I think for the most part the last few Opens I just technically wasn't feeling great with my swing. It's as simple as that. It just happened to be weeks where I wasn't playing good.

And when it comes to the Irish Open the first year of winning, I remember sitting in the press conference I had never played good in links golf. And sure enough I win that week. I think that just gave me a confidence boost when it comes to that event and that's why I've been able to do it the last few years.

But weather also, being honest, hasn't been the same. The three Irish Opens I played the weather has been kind of mild. This past Irish Open the first two days we had some kind of wind and rain but towards the weekend it was pretty soft. The final round the last four holes there was no wind whatsoever. And the weather in the Opens has been a little bit more severe than those, so I think that has something to do with it, too.

Q. Would you mind answering a question in Spanish? Is that okay?
JON RAHM: Well, there is Spanish media here in the front and they're waiting for later.

Q. Can we join in then?
JON RAHM: Yeah, that's fine. I can answer in English if you want right now.

Q. You mentioned Seve's record in The Open. How much of footage of Seve have you seen playing in The Open? What sort of inspiration will he possibly give you this week?
JON RAHM: I think I've seen as much as you can find in YouTube, really. The inspiration, there's a lot to look up to. None of the game play that I would like to emulate, really. I don't think I have the talent to do what he did, to play the way he did. Although honestly, like I said, I don't care how it looks, if it looks pretty or not, as long as I win the event. So however you can get it done.

But obviously it's an event that's really important as a European and as a Spaniard. And it would be really incredible to do something that great players after him haven't been able to do after The Open. Olazabal came close quite a few times. Sergio has come close quite a few times. It would be an honour to be the next Spanish player to win an Open. I would very much love to.

Q. You referenced the weather in some of the previous tournaments. What in practice will the difference in the rain and wind make in the next few days? What adjustments do you have to make?
JON RAHM: Again, it's old plans just kind of won't work. You just have to figure it out. You have to battle it. It's very difficult. When it starts raining, you start getting water on the club face and balls start being a little bit unpredictable. It's a tough grind is what it becomes, really that's all it is. I don't think there's a science to perfect it, because I think somebody would have found it by now. Padraig is about as good as it's going to get about somebody playing in bad weather. A lot of it honestly, is the short game. It's hard to hit all the fairways. It's hard to hit all the greens. You have to grind out the pars and make the best of the few birdie putts you have. That's only if you're playing 18 holes in rain and wind nonstop. Usually you get breaks. It comes for an hour, leaves for 30 minutes, comes for a little bit. So if you can just somehow keep the momentum going and battle out those tough times you might be able to keep a round going. If you completely derail, which can happen really easily, you lose your swing, you lose your touch, it's hard to get it back.

STUART MOFFAT: Good luck this week and thanks for your time.

JON RAHM: Thanks very much.

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