April 11, 2021
Augusta, Georgia, USA
Q. Great round today. Was it just a matter of a little too far back when you came into the final round?
JON RAHM: Does it matter? 11 shots back, I would say so, yeah. Definitely.
I mean, I kind of went out there, tried to put the best round out there for me. I never really thought there was going to be a chance unless I posted a record-breaking score, which needed to be 9-, 10-under.
Q. Were you thinking about a bogey-free round going to 17 and you needing to make that putt at all?
JON RAHM: No, I couldn't care less. I was just trying to post the best score possible. That's it.
Q. I know when you started that far back you're probably not thinking about winning, but when you're playing that well, is it still fun? Is the adrenaline still going?
JON RAHM: Oh, yeah. When I made that birdie on 12, Hideki had just started and I believe he was 1-over after one, and I'm like, I'm five shots back. If I finish -- you're thinking maybe birdie 13 and 15 and you add one more there, 8-under, he's at 10, he doesn't have the best front nine, all of a sudden I'm in the mix. That's kind of what I was thinking. Something like what Jordan Spieth did in 2018, I believe, where he started way back, shot 7- or 8-under and put himself in contention.
Yeah, it was all fun and games up until I made that birdie on 12 and I looked up and I'm like, I'm not that far away. Tried my best at the end. It's just with the wind gusts and the greens being that firm, pars are obviously great. I played really, really, really good golf today to shoot the 6-under, which it looks like it might be the best round of the day.
Q. Could you describe 13? I happened to miss it.
JON RAHM: My par?
Q. Was it a drive that --
JON RAHM: I hit driver. The wind was down on the left and wasn't very confident with a 3-wood. I didn't like it. So I'm like, might as well hit driver, see if I can have an 8-iron in. Then turned it, ended up in the pine straw with a shot but it was a funky lie in the pine straw. Decided to lay up, and thank God I did because there was a rock underneath I didn't see, and the ball kind of squirted to the right, had no angle, chipped it behind the pin and made par.
Q. Were you fooled on some putts as far as speed? I know you were probably trying to make birdie and some of them really weren't going fast when they got to the hole.
JON RAHM: Yes. Well, you look at the greens. If you stand on 18, it's so exposed. It's brown. It's downhill. It's like, how is this ball going to stop. You know, they still rolled at the speed they should, it's just deceptively really fast. They're firm, and it looks like it's just going to slide through, but they actually roll more true. It's a testament how good those greens are.
Q. When you have a finish like this, do you look at it more positively because you played so well in the final round, you have a nice high probably top-5 finish, or do you look at it from the perspective of man, if I just played a little bit better in each of those first three rounds?
JON RAHM: It's almost like a shoulda-coulda-woulda, right? I mean, each day I've played better golf. First three days I just couldn't get anything going. Today was the complete opposite. Started the way I started, and that set the tone for the rest of the round.
Yeah, I mean, it's golf. What am I going to do? I also showed up here Thursday mid-morning, haven't hit a shot in six days, very little sleep. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to play as good as I did early on.
Yeah, I mean, I don't know what to say. It is what it is.
Q. Are you happy with your result?
JON RAHM: Yeah, of course I'm happy. It's still a top five at a major with a great round on a Sunday. If anything, what is it, 15 straight rounds of even par or better here. Clearly I like the place. I play good here. My year is coming up. Let's hope it's soon.
Q. On Wednesday did you play nine holes or 18?
JON RAHM: Just nine. Just played nine.
Q. Do you think this would affect you in the future, like I can arrive a little later --
JON RAHM: God no. Like every other time, I like to play nine holes the one day and nine holes the rest. I mean, I slowly got a little bit more comfortable on the greens. It's that simple. I got here on Wednesday, and they're a little bit faster than the average country club green, and there was a bit of an adjustment to it, especially if you haven't hit a putt in a while, so I think that was the main thing. That's why I think I played so much better today. I'm hitting more shots, I'm playing more, and your feel develops a little bit better.
Q. Do you think differently on the golf course when there are spectators? Did you feel any different out there than any other major week?
JON RAHM: No. I mean, I don't know why it would affect it on the golf course. I mean, yes and no. The father in me at some point when I do something, you get, maybe frustrated. Pretty stupid, now you think about it. At the same time the competitor in me wants to win. There's a valid argument to which either side you lean on.
Q. A lot was made of your state of mind being lighter because of the birth of your son.
JON RAHM: Lighter in what sense?
Q. In the sense of being more relaxed and like everything was gravy so to speak?
JON RAHM: I mean, I'm extremely happy. Let's say the disappointment after the round lasts a lot less. I finish the round and I get a picture from Kelley, and no matter what I do, if I shoot 80 or 65, it's the same feeling. You kind of forget, and I'm a parent again.
Well, as long as you're on the golf course hitting shots, you're in your own world, and your job is to shoot the lowest score possible, so kind of forget about it there.
Q. So the same as normal?
JON RAHM: But I think the fact that once I'm done playing and the rest of the hours of the day, yeah, I am more relaxed, I am a lot happier. It's great moment in our life. At 26 to have the life we have, it's incredible, so yeah, it does lighten the mood a lot more. It might not be as intense as it would have been in another week, which it's only beneficial.
Q. Where will you play between now and Kiawah?
JON RAHM: Well, I'm playing Zurich with Ryan Palmer, defending champs. Hopefully we can go two in a row. After that I don't know. I haven't decided. It's going to be either Wells Fargo or Byron Nelson or both. Certainly one of them. I don't know which one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports