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August 30, 2020

Jon Rahm

Olympia Fields, Illinois, USA

Olympia Fields Country Club

Press Conference

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome our 2020 BMW Championship winner to the virtual interview room. Jon, what an exciting finish, what an exciting week. What is your first reaction to this victory?

JON RAHM: I've said many times, I process things so after the fact that I can't really explain. I think I'm still on the playoff hole mentally. I still can't believe what just happened, what happened the last hour of play. You know, especially from my 15th hole on, making birdie on that hole with a 6-iron with my third shot, and then birdied the par-3 and have chances on the last two. That stretch of waiting for DJ, him making the putt, going in the playoff, me making the putt, then trying to stay mentally in it just in case he made the last putt, it's been a roller coaster but so much fun. I think the best way I can explain it is it was just a lot of joy on the golf course for me. Not because I played good but because that's what I set out to do. It's a difficult course. You have to play good. People were playing good early so I knew we could get some birdies in and have a lot of fun doing it. That's probably the reason why everything turned out the way it did. Stayed aggressive because I was feeling comfortable with the driver, and it paid off.

Q. Is this the ultimate way to finish an event?

JON RAHM: Well, I would have rather not be in the playoff, but no, given that, yeah, probably the closest, best thing. I certainly don't want the stress that goes along with seeing DJ's ball in the fairway and then my ball in the rough and he hits it to 30 feet, I hit it to 60 and what's going on in my mind, but if you're going to tell me I'm going to make a 66 footer to win a tournament I'll take that any day. I think we all want the flashy finish, maybe not the stress that comes with it, but I set out with myself to enjoy even the uncomfortable moments we had out there today, and man, it was fun.

So yeah, pretty close to the best way to finish it.

Q. When you step on to the 18th green and see the situation, is there any part of you that's hoping to go to No. 10, going to the next hole in other words?

JON RAHM: Absolutely. When I had that long putt, my hope was to get myself somewhat of a doable uphill putt, somewhere hopefully within three feet, but that was extremely difficult, so three to six feet. I was just kind of hoping to give myself that type of a chance. Obviously still wanted to put on a good roll, but my focus was solely on speed so I could give myself the best chance.

Q. You did such a great job yesterday of moving on from the ball mark incident. Was there any time at all, especially maybe in the playoff that you thought about it, any point today when you were up around the lead?

JON RAHM: No, no, only when they told me DJ had hit it on the green on the 18th hole and the situation. I was like, that extra shot cushion would be extremely nice right now, I'm not going to lie. But at the same time it happened. I don't know if I would have won had it not happened. It kind of made me mad at myself, and I just went on with my focus after that and was able to play amazing golf and stayed aggressive. Maybe if I hadn't I would have two-putted and maybe stayed complacent. I don't know because I had such a good start. I can tell you after that two-putt, making that six-footer for bogey, I was like, okay, that's it, no playing around, go. That's kind of what mentally did it for me.

Q. Can you compare your weekend play this week to your weekend play at Memorial?

JON RAHM: Whoa. I would say that Saturday of Memorial would probably be on top of my weekend here, both my rounds, my weekend rounds here, just because it got a little windier there and the greens were a little bit trickier. A lot of them you can't run it up and so on. It's different situations. I would say today the way I played today was so solid. I only missed two fairways in 18 holes, hitting mostly drivers, only missed actually one green in 19 holes that I played today, gave myself plenty of chances, never really stressed for pars. This round was about as well as I think it could have gone. Probably overall as a weekend, I think this one might have been a little bit better. When you're in contention after two rounds, you're in it, it's easy to stay in it and so on, but to be at 6-over par starting Saturday afternoon -- or Saturday morning let's say and shoot 10-under after that to get to a playoff, 11-under in the next 37 holes, I think it's probably maybe a little bit better.

Q. I'm curious about your first two rounds. You were 6-over par after Friday. I think you made three birdies total. Were you playing better than you were scoring, made you feel like a weekend like this was possible?

JON RAHM: Thursday, no. Thursday I really struggled off the tee, never got comfortable really with any part of my game. Friday I was playing pretty similar. Let's just say for people that don't know, Thursday and Friday played significantly more difficult than the weekend did. I mean, those greens were really firm, fast and the wind was blowing a lot harder than it did the last two days, and I think that was the difference. I shot 1-over on Friday and moved up a lot of spots. If somebody wants to go back and see, my back nine I made a par putt on 10 I think to stay around even par, and then from 11 on, I believe -- 11 I made birdie, so from 12 on, I had makeable putts coming in all the way until 18, and I didn't make any of them and finished 1-over par, and I think that was the difference. Had I made a couple of them, maybe shoot 1- or 2-under or even it would have been a heck of a round out there, as well. That kind of led into the weekend.

It is true after Friday I went to the range and figured some things out, just got comfortable. I knew it wasn't too far away, slowly got better each day, figured it out, came out on Saturday and played really good golf and just kept it going today.

Q. Can you walk us through your process when you are reading a putt like that? I'd imagine it's a sequence that you do kind of mentally, what that looks like, and then specifically what you kind of saw in that putt out there?

JON RAHM: Well, you know, I don't have like a set method that you can just teach. I'm a feel player. I grew up on golf courses with a lot of slope, so putts with slope is something I enjoy, I like and I'm comfortable reading and putting. It fell right in my alley. It was at least 66 feet, so making it, it's a whole different story.

You can always break it into different parts. When I first stood behind the ball I could see the first two-thirds or three-fourths more or less of the putt were pretty much steady left to right break, and then you get to the big slope, to the top of that hill and it's going to start quick right and then at the end it's going to start turning left towards the pin. That's what I saw, and when I'm walking around the hole I'm basically going to the apex or the highest peak of break that I'm going to play and kind of see the ball track from there and try to find a spot, and then when I go back to the ball, I laser on that spot and really make sure I'm putting there and track the ball the way I'm supposed to. For people that have seen the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance," that 18th putt, you can kind of see the light of how the putt is supposed to go. It is somewhat like that. That's how I feel. I kind of visualize the ball rolling like that. So if you had to ask me, yes, the putt was 60 feet but I was trying to hit a spot maybe 30 feet away at most, 30, 40 feet away.

Q. I know you said you expected DJ to make that 45-foot double breaking putt down the hill. How did you find out? You were on the range.

JON RAHM: I forgot who was it there -- I'm spacing. I did the interview with him as soon as I finished. That was the first interview. I forgot his name. Steve? Steve Sands, yeah. Adam tried to pull it up on his phone and it wasn't fast enough, so we just had him tell us what was going on and he was kind of giving us a play-by-play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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