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November 12, 2020

Jon Rahm

Augusta, Georgia

Q. Can you walk us through the round today, please?
JON RAHM: A lot of ups and downs. You know, early on you're trying to get a feel for the golf course. After all the rain and overnight, you expect things to change, but you don't know how really it's going to be. The first few holes, like I said, trying to get a feel, trying to get a feel for the speed of the greens. I didn't particularly hit bad shots, I just got a couple of bad breaks. On 12 the wind switched, because Louis hit a 9‑iron, long and easy one, and we went for pitching wedge, and it was really short. And 11 is just a hard hole. I missed a chip. I hit it how I wanted to, but I thought the green was going to be a little bit softer and check up more than it did.
Things that happen when rain comes and all that, but after that I adjusted, made a wonderful birdie on 13, hit a good putt on 14 and the round was on the way. After that I wanted to hopefully get to‑‑ past that front nine, which was the back nine even par, maybe make a few birdies on our back nine, and luckily I made birdie on 18, was under par, and a heck of a start to the back nine.
Happy where I ended up. Still feels a little bit, I would say, sour because of those mistakes on 7 and 8, but it is what it is. You're going to make mistakes around here. I found myself in a spot on 7 that I've never been and never expected to be. You would never expect that. But it is what it is. I'm happy with the round. 3‑under, I would have taken it starting the day. It's a good start to the tournament.

Q. You had two top 10s in the last Masters; do you feel like you're mastering Augusta?
JON RAHM: Mastering? I think you master it when you become the Masters champion. I'm on my way, I guess.

Q. Playing with someone who's hitting it 20 yards past you, that's not something that usually happens to you.
JON RAHM: Luckily for us he wasn't very straight on the first few holes. The trees were‑‑ he was kind of on par with us. There was a couple of them that were reality checks. He hit a good one at 15 and he wasn't that far ahead of us, but after the drive on 5‑‑ because I hit mine good, and he was a good 20 yards past the bunkers, so that was one where we were like, okay, that was quite a bit. And then on 8, as well. He seemed to toe it and I hit mine good and he was still way ahead of me. So there was a couple of them that were reality checks.
The funny thing is Louis said it; we both hit a club that was a 7 into 15, but Louis hit a 7‑wood and Bryson hit a 7‑iron. It's funny sometimes to just hear the numbers they're talking about, it's an 8‑iron, and the tee shots they're hitting. On 18 he was questioning if he could carry the bunkers, and me and Louis were not even near hitting to the bunkers. It's a different golf course, but I think today proves that no matter how far you hit it, you still need to make the putts. He got a 2‑under‑par round because he also got a lot of up‑and‑downs and scrambling done. I think his short game is being drastically elevated right now.

Q. Would you rather play long and soft or fast and fiery?
JON RAHM: I'd rather play Augusta fast and fiery, so I can't tell you. I'm going to say based on my two wins this year, I'm going to go fast and fiery. I like both. I grew up in conditions like this. Northern Spain is rainy nine months of the year, and this is not news to me. The only thing I'm not used to is wet Bermuda. But besides that, I would like to see if it was possible in April to see it again firm and fast just like it was in the 2000s, when those scores were higher winning scores. It was single digits. I believe it was Phil shooting 7‑ or 8‑under and won by three in '06. Things that you don't really see now, I guess, because they're making tees further back. They can't really have the greens that firm because if you have a firm green on 5 and the wind turns and you're hitting 4‑ or 5‑irons in, that would be impossible. I think the golf course is‑‑ Jordan was talking about 2014 how he hit 9‑iron into 11 on Sunday because the fairways were that firm. I would love to see that again. I think that's the way Augusta National is supposed to be played, I think the way it was intended, so to see the course fast and firm would be definitely‑‑ not a dream of mine but something I would love to see in my career.

Q. What was it like without the patrons? There weren't any roars, and it seemed like very little clapping, as well.
JON RAHM: Yeah, it's still Augusta National, though. You still have plenty to worry about when you're playing here. It didn't feel that different. It's also probably because it's been quite a few months already that we've played without the spectators and patrons. Obviously you miss the roars and certain things. There was a moment where I missed the fans because it was 7 green‑‑ because when I was waiting for the chip, you have people on 2 hitting shots, people on 3 tee hitting shots, people on 17 hitting shots. It's like, I don't want to be distracted at any point, but it can happen, so having patrons at that moment, I wouldn't have been able to see any of that and I wouldn't have had to wait at all.
When it comes to the atmosphere of the event, it's still the Masters. It's still the same course, the same beautiful place, classic scoreboard, the golf course itself. You miss it, but I feel like the essence is still there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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