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August 19, 2021

Jon Rahm

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

Liberty National Golf Club

Press Conference

Q. Once again, Jon, not having your complete record in front of me, but it seems like you have a history of whatever break you have coming back as if you've never been gone. Do you feel that way, or is there being out for a month in competition?

JON RAHM: I was honestly thinking there will be some rust to get rid of, and there was a little bit. It's even hard to say because those first five holes or six holes, even though I was 2-under par, it was very close to being a very different story. That chip-in on 3, if it doesn't hit the hole, I'm looking for a 40-footer for par. Made a great up and down on 4 and 5.

I guess that's why you practice the short game because that is three holes I stole a couple shots and got really full of confidence, hit a couple of good putts, and just took off running. That 7th hole was about as perfect as I can play it and keep putting myself in good positions. That's the key. I hit it so good off the tee, and my irons felt really comfortable. When you have soft greens, you can really take advantage of this.

Q. Everyone is talking about the conditions and how difficult it is. After those first six holes, did it feel difficult? It didn't look that way.

JON RAHM: It is. It's extremely difficult. The fact that me and Justin shot a low score like that, it shows it's possible, but we both play really, really good golf. I'm assuming he did as well. I felt like I played great. If it ever looked easy, it is, again, due to ball striking. I can put it in the fairway. From the fairway, you can be aggressive. You can hit it as low as you want into the wind, and that ball is going to stop on the green. I think that's, again, the advantage of using the wind to your advantage.

If the wind stays up like this, let's not expect everybody or all of us to be shooting 8-under every single day because that's just not going to happen. Scores are out there. I think we just showed it. That's mainly due to the fact of the softness of the greens.

It probably felt a lot tougher within us than it appeared outside, but at the end of the day, when you're striking it well, it's going to seem easier.

Q. I think you said after the U.S. Open after everything that happened, you came back with a purpose.


Q. Would it be the same thing this week?

JON RAHM: It's a little different. This time I didn't have a six-shot lead to win a gold medal and got pulled out. It's a very different, different story. It's hard to explain because the U.S. Open felt pretty much the same and almost like a weight was lifted off me because I had a bailout. I'm like, well, I haven't practiced in a week. If I play bad, nobody can blame me. I had COVID.

It all was different on Sunday. When I stepped on the tee -- I've said it a couple times. After that positive on Saturday, I told Kelly, something good is coming our way. I don't know what it is. It might not be related to golf, but something good is coming our way. When I hit the 1st tee shot on Sunday at Torrey, I felt it.

I don't think it's the same because this time I didn't get the chance to go. The feeling of redemption is not going to be quite as big, but hopefully, and hopefully it carries on for the next three weeks and I end up on top again.

I sure don't want to have to rely on being pulled out of tournaments to be able to win one, let's just say that (laughter).

Q. Jon, a little off the beaten track here, but I know you're a fan of the history of the game. I was curious growing up, do you have memories of watching the Ryder Cup and some of the great Spanish players who came before you?

JON RAHM: Yes, of course. A little hard for me to -- Seve --

Q. Was he a little early?

JON RAHM: Yeah, he was captain in '97, and I was 3. My family wasn't into golf then either. So I think the earlier memories I have was on -- God, I couldn't even tell you. I have a little flashback in mind. I couldn't tell you what golf course it is, but I have a little consciousness or watching it and seeing everything was the Ryder Cup in Valhalla.

Q. 2012, Jose Maria being captain and kind of Seve was in the air, especially on that Sunday. Where were you watching that? Do you have memories of that?

JON RAHM: I was at ASU already. It was my first month, and I was surely enjoying watching that happen on that Sunday. I was in our facility, and I watched the whole thing. I was fortunate to be able to watch it because a lot of times when you're in Spain, the time difference and all that, my parents wouldn't always let me wake up early because I had to go to school and things like that.

But that definitely was a special one. To do something like that, I can't even imagine how they celebrated or how they felt because it was a very, very historic Sunday.

Q. Did you ruin any friendships with teammates?

JON RAHM: God, no.

Q. What is your favorite Ryder Cup YouTube moment?

JON RAHM: It's too many. I still want to see -- I believe it was the Ryder Cup -- was there one at PGA National?

Q. '83.

JON RAHM: In '83, I would love to see it. I heard of the shot that Seve hit the 3-wood off the bunker.

Q. It was never recorded.

JON RAHM: Whoever was in charge of it, my God. It's Seve on 18.

Q. They only had two hours of coverage. They didn't cover his group.

JON RAHM: The camera, I don't know. I wish -- because I heard about it so many times. I know he hit it from the bunker to the front of the green to make a birdie and win the match. I wish, God.

But moments that you can remember, there's maybe not as significant to the Ryder Cup itself, but that picture of Jose and Seve at Kiawah, the shadow of them shaking hands, it's pretty iconic. It's iconic of what they represented to the Ryder Cup.

Q. (In Spanish)?

JON RAHM: You have a hole where it's into the wind off the left, which for a right-hander, tough. Luckily, I'm a fader of the ball, and I like that. A little bit to the left. So hit a really good hard drive in the fairway and hit it in -- that 5-iron second shot, 5-iron, might as well call it MVP today. Actually, it was a 4-iron on 15, never mind.

The 5-iron I hit, it was really solid, good ball flight, started where I wanted to, the wind took it, and I had three feet straight up the hill for birdie in a hole where you're not going to see that many. You might make a longer putt, but having three feet for birdie.

Q. What was the yardage?

JON RAHM: 174 meters. It's just after making two birdies that were questionably a little luck, we can say that, around the green, I just went in and made a perfect birdie, I mean perfect, right? I think that's the hole I got things going.

Q. And it set you off the rest of the way?


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