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


August 4, 2020

Jon Rahm

San Francisco, California, USA

Harding Park Golf Club

Press Conference

JOHN DEVER: Welcome, everybody, to the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Welcome, sir. Welcome to what is your fourth PGA Championship, and I understand the last few minutes, your Thursday and Friday pairings were announced on ESPN. You'll be playing with Phil Mickelson and Sergio GarcĂ­a. Curious as to your thoughts on the grouping but also about your relationship with Sergio and how that's impacted you.

JON RAHM: Well, I found out about ten seconds ago I was playing with them, so I have not had much time to think about it. But it's an honor to play with one of the greatest Spanish players to ever play. Grew up watching him, and he's been there for me when I've needed it, and as well as Phil, right. If anything, even though me and Sergio are both Spanish countrymen, I spend a lot more time with Phil, with the relationship with him, his brother and I had, being my college coach and then my manager afterwards, and you know, just living here in the States for the last eight years.

I've spent a lot of time with both. They have both helped me out a lot and it should be a really fun pairing. I'm excited. It's rare that you get a good one like this one, and they both mean a lot to me, so I'm happy to share the stage with them.

Q. Statistically, of course you've done a lot of things this year that are outstanding but seems like your putting is more consistent than the statistics would have shown last year. If that is true, what has gone into that?

JON RAHM: Well, I don't know, didn't feel like it; I'm not going to lie. I think we've got to make different judgments, right, pre-COVID era, right, and after COVID. There's nothing special that I've done, honestly, that I couldn't tell you anything different that I've been doing putting-wise. Just, you know, if it's happened, it's slowly been better. That's about it. There's nothing special.

I wasn't aware that statistically I was more consistent, so I really couldn't tell you. Maybe just I really don't know. Nothing special. Just kept practicing and trying to get better, and the goal is to get better every day, so hopefully that's translating to that and hopefully I keep getting, you know, putting better and better every year.

Q. I'm just curious how weird it's been, you know, the obvious question, the short period of time with the No. 1 mantel and then Justin goes and wins on Sunday and obviously you're still right there, and how weird was that, that it was so fleeting, and what's the week been like?

JON RAHM: Well, it's not that it's weird. It's well-earned. I played pretty bad last week and he played amazing to win, right.

I think we are in an era right now where it's going to be hard to have somebody distance themselves. When you have so many great players playing who go out at the same time, at any given point for two or three months, one of us can get hot and take the No. 1 spot. I think we might be entering an era where we bounce back and forth. Not that, hopefully that could still be the case where one of us, you know, plays well for a while and stays in the No. 1 spot for a while.

But since Brooks winning four majors in basically two years, you know, and J.T. now winning three events this season, it's well deserved. It's as simple as that. You know, hopefully we can just battle it out the rest of the year and battle for majors and FedExCup and everything that's coming up. It's an exciting time in golf. Not to compare it with tennis because it's an extremely case because it's similar to that. You have Rafa, Djokovic and Federer who are competing at the same time. Who is No. 1, you don't know, depends on who plays better that year.

It's going to be hard to have a Tiger-esque case right now because there's so many players with so much talent and are really, really good. It could be a situation where we are going back and forth, and hopefully I'm the one that stays up there for awhile, but it's going to take a lot of good play.

Q. How do you go about trying to think of this week as a major than other events you've played without fans? Is it going to be hard to feel like it's a major championship compared to what you're used to?

JON RAHM: No. Just for the sheer fact that we have way more infrastructure than we are used to every other week. It already feels a little bit different.

You know, major championship weeks you don't need anything special or spectators to make us aware or make it known that it's a major championship, right. It just feels like it. You're aware of it. It's as simple as that. Obviously fans and spectators are going to be missed. The atmosphere will not be the same, and I can say from experience when you're coming down the stretch and you're hitting some shots and you don't know what's going on, you don't know what the people in front of you are doing and you're hitting shots into the green and you don't know how close they can be, it's very odd down the stretch, and I think a major even more when on the back nine on a Sunday you can feel the roars and hear it and just tell what's going on before they post it on the boards, right. That might be a little bit different.

Besides that, it's a major championship. It feels like a major championship. It feels like a good event. So hopefully I can perform like it.

Q. Curious your impressions of the golf course so far. Much colder than it has been the last couple PGA Tour events. The challenge it will present this week and how it compares to PGA Championships or majors you've played in the past?

JON RAHM: I might be the wrong person to ask since I haven't seen the golf course yet. It's going to be a short answer. All I've seen is the chipping green and the range. I can tell you in a couple hours once I've played nine holes, but it looks like obviously this West Coast weather, a little bit cooler, chances of rain. Rough is going to be nice and healthy and thick, and it looks like fairways, from what I've seen, are decently narrow, right, so major championship golf, we just need to play good in every part of your game and have confidence in every part of your game and hopefully be the one standing alone on Sunday.

Q. Everyone talks about trying to peak for major championships. Were you able to do that because of the circumstances this year, and if so, how?

JON RAHM: I mean, I can't tell you if I've peaked or not. I haven't played yet. That was certainly the intent, right, for I think everybody. I think a lot of us try to play as much as possible early on to get the rust off and play good golf, and, well, in my case, out of five events I've played or six, I've played one good one and the rest have been probably below what I expect to do, right, haven't felt my best.

You know, it's out of quarantine and I've never taken time off and some -- you might form some bad habits by just not doing the usual. Slowly getting back into it obviously. Hopefully I have it in me. Hopefully I've done the right things, but I won't be able to tell you that until afterwards. Physically I feel great and mentally I feel like I'm great, so I feel like I'm ready.

Q. In the restart events, obviously it's been very hot. You're coming here where the temperature drops and the air is heavier. Do you make adjustments? Do you look at TrackMan and actually kind of test your numbers when the weather is like this? Is there that much of a difference, or is that overrated?

JON RAHM: No, there will be a difference. I think we all have our monitors, whatever we have, early in the week to see the difference. Especially being somebody who lives in Arizona, the difference is going to be significant. But at the same time, where I grew up in Spain is pretty much like this. Same weather year-round, same type of climates and -- well, that's the same thing. But same, let's say, environment around, same type of golf course. It's going to be pretty much like going back to Spain playing golf when I was growing up.

Weather shouldn't bug me, something I'm used to, and yeah, need to get used to how far the ball is going. For the most part, we'll be able to predict most of it. It's just when the wind picks up, knowing it's that humid air, a little bit heavier, it will affect it more than it has in some places.

Yeah, it's almost closer to what we play on The European Tour, which I've done decently well on, so hopefully I can this week.

Q. Understanding that you try to win whenever you tee it up, if you look back at Oakmont, your first major, what were your realistic expectations when you first started, and did you notice them changing the more majors you played?

JON RAHM: I've gone back and forth. I mean, obviously, yeah, I want to win, and I've gone back and forth. Like I think early on, shortly after Oakmont, my next major -- well, not The Open, but my third major, the Masters, I was already one of the favorites to win because I played good golf, so I never really had that adjustment period, and maybe I didn't manage it as best I could have, and I went from that to the complete opposite, of trying to have no expectations and just trying to play good.

I think I'm still trying to figure out the rapid ascent in golf that I had, made it a little bit awkward in some major championships, but used to it now, so I'm still out here to win. That's what we're here to do. Each and every week I play, I try to win and that's a goal. I wish I could give you a more detailed answer than that. It's simple. It's going a little bit back and forth. I feel like when you're an amateur and first come out, especially Oakmont, I didn't play my best golf, I think Top-25, so I was like, well, if I play good I'm going to be able to win. You get a reality check that it major championship golf is not just playing good. It's more a mental test than anything else. I've been having some good showings and somewhat close calls, but I'm ready to have a better chance on a Sunday.

Q. When you're away from the golf course, what are some things you do to feel like you're staying productive?

JON RAHM: Productive?

Q. Staying productive, yeah.

JON RAHM: Oh, it all depends when you are. I think the time we live in now, I try not to leave home really. We're in houses and just stay in the house, so whatever it is, just reading. I'm a person who likes to write and journal, so I like to do that. Stretching, meditate, whatever. Whatever it is, honestly, that's going to make me feel useful.

I don't know if you mean at home or actually in tournament weeks, but the answer wouldn't change that much at home, either, right. Spend so much of our time practicing that when I'm home, it's maybe just more downtime, even though I'm somebody that's always thinking about how to become better, I need that off time. I've talked often, and luckily my wife supports it, this habit for me mentally of playing video games, which in some events it helps, 30 minutes to an hour just to decompress my mind and forget about golf for a little bit and try to come back to the real world and what I mentioned earlier of meditation and writing. I'm big in writing more than meditating. That's my sense of peace of mind, at least.

Q. It's been over a year between majors, the longest stretch since the 1940s. What does it mean to you to compete in a major again?

JON RAHM: We're excited. Happy about it. You know, obviously the reasoning of us not playing in a couple of the majors, it's a sad reason. Hopefully everybody can stay safe and my condolences to everybody who is suffering. Hopefully we can all get through this and all do our part.

Still, we're very lucky to be playing our bigger events. At least it looks like we might be playing three of them this calendar year. If anything, I'm really thankful it's happening. It looked at one point where it looked really ugly with how things are in California and New York. That's the best way I can explain it. I'm just thankful to be here honestly. Some sports are struggling to get their season going and things going and figure it out. Luckily the PGA TOUR and the entities have been able to provide a safe environment with testing and plenty if disinfectant and ways -- I mean, if you've seen the locker room this week, all the lockers are ten feet apart; it's unbelievable, right. The security details that everybody has displayed, it's amazing. I'm really thankful for everybody involved in it and thankful we can keep playing golf. That's the best way I can describe it. I'm just thankful that we're here.

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