March 3, 2022
Bay Hill, Florida, USA
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Q. Jon, obviously a tough finish. But you made a few birdies on the back to kind of stay in it. Talk about your round and how you were able to overcome some of the early bogeys.
JON RAHM: Bogeys can happen very easily out here. There was a significant difference from the golf course I played yesterday in the Pro-Am to what I found in the first few holes. Those greens yesterday are receptive. You could stop long irons very, very easily. Short irons were even spinning back, and the greens weren't that fast.
We get to 1 and we see the golf course that we see. Those greens were already a little crunchy and it's Thursday. You're not going to back up anything, and if you hit a long iron in, you can expect easily five to ten paces of release. So big difference.
It took a while to get the speed down, and even throughout the whole day, I think I was a little bit intimidated by that putt I had on 2 and left a lot of them short.
I played really good golf from 8 on. Maybe not 9, but 8 on I had two bad holes and a lot of birdie looks. Hopefully, I can carry on the ball striking and have a few fall and get going.
Q. Jon, I think it was 7 on that putt. Have you ever had that happen before? Was there a blade of grass on the putter or what? I think it was 7. I'm not sure.
JON RAHM: I know. I figured somebody was going to ask.
Q. It was weird.
JON RAHM: I really couldn't tell you. I wish I could give you all the excuses in the world, but no, it's as simple as -- you know, it just didn't feel good in my hands, and I tried to stop, and I didn't. I just simply didn't stop. I don't know. It was very odd.
It's not like it affected my play the rest of the day because I played really good. But sitting at 1-under I feel like would feel a lot better than even par. It just sucks to give that one away.
Q. You actually tried to stop the stroke?
JON RAHM: I tried to stop it, yeah. It didn't sit well in my hands. I was a little sweaty.
Q. Have you ever done that before?
JON RAHM: I've seen many things. I've seen from the putter get a little stuck on a blade of grass on the way back and do something funky, hit the ground before because you're not paying attention. I've seen so many things from a foot. I've seen some of the best putters in the world miss it because you don't really take a proper stance. It sucks to give away a shot like that, to be honest.
Q. You mentioned on the broadcast, do you have a longer putter this week? Did you do anything to the putter?
JON RAHM: I love when people make up stories. I'm going to clarify this right now because I heard it throughout my whole pro career. Since my senior year in college 2016, the length of my putter hasn't changed. I'm not going to say who. One particular guy just starts making up the length of my putters. Just over 37 inches, and it's been like that since my final semester in college, 2016.
Q. You talked about the putt on 2. What kind of happened there?
JON RAHM: Well, it's just a dicey pin location. I think they missed the mark on that one with the greens. I consider it a bad choice when being 30 feet right of the pin is worse than being 30 yards left of the green, legit. I mean, it's easier to be way left almost on the water. You have a better chance of getting up and down than two-putting from where I was.
Q. Just super downhill?
JON RAHM: I either leave myself four feet like this with the side break or I'm taking 10 to 15 feet long because the ball's not going to stop. That's kind of how it is. They mentioned it. Sam and Sergio mentioned it. They always put that pin. It's the first time I'm here, and it wasn't that bad of a shot. I'm hitting a 6-iron, and I hit it to 30 feet. It's not terrible. Yeah, it is what it is.
Q. What are you expecting tomorrow in terms of being in the morning?
JON RAHM: Well, it is in the morning. So the moisture will make the greens a little bit slower and a little bit more receptive. Hopefully, you can get off to a good start. Most of the good rounds I saw on the leaderboard were from people who played in the morning. Not that it's not gettable in the afternoon.
But hopefully get off to a good start, play a couple good holes, get comfortable, and shoot something in the 60s. That will be hopefully mid-60s.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports