June 17, 2022
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
The Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Jon Rahm, 3-under 67. Talk us through your round a bit.
JON RAHM: Very, I'll say, satisfied with today's round. Played good golf, and I think the key moment today was adding to the one on 10 with 15 or 17. Those three par putts in a row, all of them with some length to it, was key to keeping the round going.
And even though I bogeyed 1, finishing the last eight holes as good as I did was very important, so going in with a lot of confidence.
Q. Collin said he felt like you guys got lucky with the wind and the conditions. Do you feel like that?
JON RAHM: Yeah, we definitely got in the right side of the wave this time. I don't know how much the scoring difference is, but it went from looking really bad, maybe rain and thunder, and we didn't know what was going to happen, and extremely windy, to we kind of made the turn and went to 2, got to 3, and we had perfect sunshine and the wind almost started to die down a little bit. Especially the last few holes.
It was kind of about as enjoyable as a U.S. Open walk can be really. When you have two guys playing as good as we both were, I think it makes it even better for us, as well.
Q. You won last year. Now you're tied for second. What is it about this setup that you think suits your game?
JON RAHM: I mean, you wouldn't say it suits my game until I won last year really because my performances haven't been great, but it is something I enjoy. Especially the more I've played as a pro.
I think a setup like this or a setup like it was last week in Canada or Memorial where you have some rough to deal with, it really puts a premium on all aspects of the game. Especially on a golf course like this. The more I play it, the more I like it.
It's such a unique design to where you have options off the tee, and you can really pretty much choose whatever you want, and that's why you have on the leaderboard so many players that hit it kind of a bit of a difference in length off the tee.
Just because you have holes like 17 where you can be as aggressive or as passive as you want. Holes like 7, very similar deal. 5, 3. You can push it as far down or as far back as you want and give yourself a chance. That's what makes it so much fun, especially with a U.S. Open setup.
And kind of having that length it always going to be an advantage, but it gets neutralized a couple times, and it's really, really fun.
Q. You seem to be someone who really appreciates history. Is this place and the history and the aura of it, is it inspiring you? Does it make you love the golf course more?
JON RAHM: I might be biased in that sense. It's a place when you come into and you start hearing the stories and you go in the locker room and you see the pictures and the essence of what's happened, it makes it that much more special.
It's true living history on this golf course. You're taking steps on holes that some greats have in the past.
When you get to 17 and you hear everything that's happened on that hole, it's very, very unique. Yeah, it's very enjoyable. It's kind of obviously like going to Augusta or a place like Riv, Colonial, courses that have been hosting events for a long time and are part of this game.
Q. Following up on what you're talking about with the golf course and the tee shot options, on the weekend how much of your decision-making is going to be based on leaderboard versus wind versus kind of what you're feeling?
JON RAHM: I think the leaderboard will have very little to do with it. Maybe Sunday 17 you're two back and you need birdie-birdie, well, you might hit driver on 17. Even then it still depends on pin location, wind, and how one is feeling. I can't really tell you.
I don't foresee my strategy or what I've done so far to change much, honestly, unless the wind changes completely, which it might. You never know, especially in this part of the country.
I don't really -- but I'm usually somebody who gets to the tee, I see the pin, I see the wind we have and then I make a decision. I don't go out there with a plan for every hole already.
Q. Not before you map stuff out --
JON RAHM: It's impossible. I've done it many times. I remember one year in Colonial, I said, I'll only hit three drivers tomorrow. I ended up hitting 12. I'm not one to tell you if I am feeling hot with the driver and I can hit it, I'll be hitting it. So I can't really tell you if I'll do one thing or the other.
Q. Would you consider this year the best that you've ever driven the golf ball?
JON RAHM: Honestly, every year feels the same. I'm not going to lie. Statistically it might be. I think I'm pretty much exactly the same as I was last year, I'm just hitting it a little farther, so it might be.
Q. Does it surprise you that you're not leading in strokes gained off the tee but a kid who's a rising senior at Texas, Travis Vick, is No. 1 in strokes gained off the tee? Does that surprise you at all?
JON RAHM: I never look at who's leading off the tee, so I really -- there's some people coming out of college that have much more ball speed than I do.
Again, the leader is not even close to being one of the longest on TOUR, so it doesn't really matter, especially in a tournament like this.
Q. How much more fun is it to be in contention with so many other big names at the top of the leaderboard?
JON RAHM: Oh, it's great. I think it's a testament to the health and the state of this game. It's pretty amazing to see Rory back to -- back - it's not like he ever went anywhere. But playing back-to-back weeks and playing at the level he can. Obviously Scottie doing what he's been doing all year, Collin doing what he always does, myself doing what I always try to do, as well.
It's fun for all of us because we all want to compete against the best and beat the best, and it's obviously a lot more fun for watching people. Like I said, I think it's great for the game of golf that the highest ranked players and the best players are up there, especially in the tournament where truly the best player ends up winning.
Q. How much better do those guys make you when you're all at the top of the leaderboard going into the weekend?
JON RAHM: I mean, when we're out there we're really focused on our own thing. I think today and yesterday since me and Collin were playing together, I think you feed off each other when somebody hits a good shot and you see some putts go in, you kind of elevate each other a little bit. But I'm not truly -- I can't tell you what Rory is doing when he's on the other side of the golf course.
I think that has much more of an impact on Sunday.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports