April 8, 2021
Augusta, Georgia, USA
Q. Jon, how would you characterize your round out there today?
JON RAHM: It was a battle. That's all I can say. There was not one moment where you felt relaxed, or where I felt relaxed out there. Everything was pretty well. I would say nothing outstanding but nothing bad. The only thing I could have probably just touch on is hopefully get better throughout the week is my pace on the greens, but everybody struggled. Rory struggled. Xander struggled. I struggled.
It's tough. There's some putts you're used to seeing pretty slow, but because the greens are a little more firm, a little more dry, they're rolling out a little bit more, so you've got to be careful. That's what it showed in my case. I was a little over cautious a little bit and left myself a couple long putts to get to the hole. Besides that, it's a good round of golf.
It's really difficult out there. The wind was pumping on a couple of the holes. And just hitting the green is usually a hard task out there, but even more so this time. Pars are usually pretty good, especially this week. Even par is a great round. I would have taken it for sure.
Q. Jon, obviously you got here late this week for good reason. Did you feel like you were fully prepared for this round today?
JON RAHM: Yes, absolutely. I said it yesterday, even though I didn't do much golf related from Friday to Monday, the work is done before, right? So I just need to come in here healthy, good mobility when it comes to the body, and then the right mindset.
The only thing you can do when you're here on a week like this is the touch around the greens, which chipping was really good. It's just a couple putts, I guess I was overly scared. Besides that, yeah, I felt fully prepared.
Q. You arrived yesterday beaming, such a high. By the 7th hole or 8th hole, I think you were pretty fired up at yourself. Was it quick to get back into that competitive zone? I mean, is that easy?
JON RAHM: I was fired up on myself? Where?
Q. On 8, when you left the putt short, and on 9 when you --
JON RAHM: Oh, yeah. I wasn't fired up at myself. You guys categorize me so quick, it's unbelievable. I had the same reaction Xander did on 9. Come on, man. I was just praying for a good bounce on 9, which I ended up getting a nice kick off the tree. Yeah, I was frustrated because I kept leaving balls short. I had 20 feet for birdie, and I had 6 left to get to the hole.
Yeah, that gets frustrating. Man, I'm categorized quick. I know I get mad sometimes, but it wasn't that bad. Anybody would have gotten mad on that one.
Q. Jon, scale of 1 to 10 difficulty out there today?
JON RAHM: What's the scoring average? When's the last time leading was 3 under and even par was close to top ten? I would say for it to be a 10, it would have to be a lot windier than this. So I would say 8 1/2 or 9. I was able to salvage a lot of pars out there. That's probably why I'm giving it that, but it was closer to a 9.
Q. Given the conditions, were there any shots -- I don't know if scared is the right way to put it, but that were difficult.
JON RAHM: Pretty much all of them. There's not one shot -- if you take 3, if we had the greens in the usual conditions, it would have been a birdie fest out there today. If you hit it within 30 yards of the pin, you're struggling to keep it on the green. We saw a lot of shots, our group and the group behind, and I think only two or three balls stayed on the green, and most of them went in the fairway.
It's not easy. Even wedges into par 5s, you know. You have to be cautious. If you land it one step too far or too short, you can end up in a bad spot really quickly. If it's a tough course to get distance control right in a normal year, this year it's even more so.
So there's not one shot out there I could say you could just be relaxed. All of them were pretty tense.
Q. Jon, how did you feel coming off your practice round yesterday? Did you feel comfortable, confident?
JON RAHM: Yeah, I feel confident. I didn't know what to say because I was playing with Ryan and Scottie, and they were telling me how firm it was the day before and how it was playing a little softer and slower. So I didn't know what to gather. One putting green was one speed, the course was one speed. I was like, you know what, I'll try to go and rest up and tee off tomorrow.
Nobody has ever seen it like this or nobody has seen it like this in a long time, so I feel like almost coming in late was to my advantage because I didn't really overthink things.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports