January 8, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
Q. Excellent round of golf for you today. What was the difference for you in today's second round?
JON RAHM: Oh, I would say making a few putts. Obviously, I would say conditions are drastically easier today. It's by far the least amount of wind I've played here and the direction made it -- three out of four of the par-5s are downwind. It's just a lot more scorable opportunities and a lot of scorable day and the score reflects that.
I would say I might have felt worse today but making a few putts like the putt I did on 14 and just not overcomplicating things is what the difference was.
Q. It almost seems like today's moving day in this golf tournament with a smaller field and the scoring conditions. You had to do something today to keep yourself in the tournament.
JON RAHM: Yeah, yeah. A goal for me today was to, first of all, hit every shot as committed as possibly possible. Yesterday I was kind of getting some rust off of the game. I hadn't played a competitive since Augusta, I got new clubs, new, a lot of things, so just kind of getting used to it. I shot a 3-under that could have been better. It also could have been worse. It's just a solid round to start with and the mistakes were all mental. I was just a little uncommitted on some shots. And that was the difference today. I was committed on everything I was doing and luckily I had that nice little stretch at the end.
Q. Final thing, if you can reflect on the change of equipment and getting used to it in competition. I know a lot of our listeners when they get new clubs it probably takes them half a season to get used to the numbers on their golf course. But for a professional, how long does it take you to get accustomed to how they're going to perform in competition?
JON RAHM: Well, what people might not know is I basically got fitted and did a lot of work quite earlier than they thought, than people would think. So I already had a valuable set of clubs for after Augusta. And then as soon as Augusta was done I didn't take any time off. I went straight to San Diego and spent three days, a lot of hours in the Callaway center hitting a lot of shots just making sure everything's dialed in.
And when I went home I was really confident with everything. The only thing for me was going to be what clubs I put into play, and I did not expect that the only one not being Callaway was going to be the putter. But I'm still adjusting to it. I think the biggest thing to get used to is the golf ball. One thing is hitting shots at home and the other one is hitting shots here.
I live in Arizona, not much air density, everything looks pretty straight. Come here to Hawaii, humid and windy. I have to get used to how the ball reacts in the wind and I think that's what a lot of yesterday was and it's still going to take a little bit of getting used to. But based on today and how I'm playing, I would say I'm pretty close.
Q. What was the biggest difference from round 1 to round 2?
JON RAHM: There's a couple. When it comes and what I can control, I would say it was committing to shots. Yesterday I made a couple of mistakes, the bunker shot on 9, the chip on 12, tee shot on 17. They were all mental errors. I wasn't fully committed. I didn't have a clear picture of what I wanted to do.
So when it comes to what my routine is, that was the difference today. I was fully committed to every shot I had. And even though I felt a little worse today than I did yesterday, I was able to pull a better score. Adding to that, obviously, there's not much wind. We're used to having at least 20 miles an hour sideways on every shot and there was barely anything right now compared to what we're used to and a different direction. Three out of the four par-5s are downwind. 14 is downwind. So it just plays a little bit easier this way.
Q. Did that commitment kind of come into play as you came down the stretch and had that nice finish to the round?
JON RAHM: No, it was throughout the whole day. No matter I hit a good or bad shot it was just committing to the shot I had in mind. And like I said, I really wasn't feeling better, but I came through with a 3-under on the front nine and was able to put it together a little bit better on the back nine.
I think a big difference, too, was making a few putts. Yesterday I didn't really make any, besides the par-5 that I only had one birdie. It was a 6-footer on 16, which I had plenty of chances, it just didn't go in, and today I made a couple.
That putt on 14 was a big one for the round today. The putt on 12, just to keep things going. Nice birdie on 17 as well.
Game is in good shape. I think yesterday was just getting a little bit of competitive -- or not competitive, rust off and getting used to a lot of new things.
Q. Does it help when you're playing here, you've had some success here. You play well here. When you get it kind of going do you go, okay, I know that what this feels like here and I can continue to make it keep going?
JON RAHM: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I can, again, the one thing to remember is it's a new golf ball. It's a little bit different to the one I had before even though it's as close as it can probably possibly be. But just some shots I need to get used to. And so far, working well, and I know I can play good. I think today might be the lowest round I ever played on this golf course, so it shows. I do have the confidence. And I think to have that, the fact that I have new equipment just gives me that more motivated to get a good round going and start the year properly.
But again, once the first tee shot is in the air, it's all business, right, and the goal is to shoot as low as possible.
Q. What is the biggest difference between the new ball and your old ball?
JON RAHM: You know, TaylorMade golf ball, it's a ball that will launch a little bit higher with less spin. You could almost say it's almost a little bit more of a one-dimensional ball, right? Even if you're into the wind, you can hit it pretty much a stock shot and it's going to go through the wind, which is great in some situations.
The new Callaway one, it's pretty much the same, but inside the 8-iron it launches a little bit lower with a touch more spin, which gives me a lot more to play with in short irons. And I would say in some of those shots into the wind, in cross-wind, I need to get used to controlling the spin, but I've been doing a good job so far. Obviously, I hit some bad ones like everybody else. But I've hit some beautiful shots the last two days on 10 into the wind, a couple good wedge shots, the one on 9. 16 yesterday was a great shot as well. I mean, I've hit some good ones.
So even though I'm still learning, I'm still trying to get better and it's just all in a really good spot.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports