March 3, 2023
Bay Hill, Florida, USA
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Q. How would you characterize your round today?
JON RAHM: Just a different question, please. No, I'm just messing with you. How would I characterize it? What do you think I'm going to say? Excuse my language, but it's (expletive) hard. (Laughing.) It's firm, it's fast and it's blowing 30 miles an hour. It's a very difficult golf course.
For most of the day I managed it. It's just the last five holes, even though I didn't feel like I was making bad swings, I just couldn't quite get it going and finished poorly the last stretch.
Main thing is, two swings that didn't feel bad, both of 'em end up in the water. That's costing me two shots right there. Luckily, I shot 7-under yesterday and I'm not too far off.
Q. You talked about not having your best stuff al the time. To endure a day like this and not give everything back, what's that like? Is that what you have to look at this as?
JON RAHM: You have to deal with it. Clearly, I never had it on the greens. Never had it off the tee. Didn't make any putts, really. Hit very little fairways. That's a very bad combination to shoot any scores out here. So you just try to minimize the damage. Obviously some people are going to shoot under par, but it's just really tough.
Q. Did it feel foreign?
JON RAHM: Not that foreign. It's just difficult. Like I said, I don't feel like I played that terribly, it's just some narrow targets out there. If you don't hit it in the fairway you're playing defensive the whole day. I thought I did a pretty good job. Again, it's just the two tee shots I keep looking at and then the one gust of wind on 8 on the green.
Q. How tough was the putting?
JON RAHM: Very.
Q. Did you have to play for the wind?
JON RAHM: You had to play for a lot of things, yeah. I mean, those greens have quite a bit of slope for the most part. Then, yeah, you have those Bermuda greens where, once they get dry enough, the grain is not doing as much as it usually does. Then you have to take on the wind. So, yeah, I mean, I 3-putted on 8 basically because of two wind gusts. So, I mean, I didn't really hit a bad putt on either one of those. It happens. I'm sure I wasn't the only one today.
Q. Kurt Kitayama has put himself up there. You guys had a nice head-to-head in Mexico. What did you learn about him, what do you know about him?
JON RAHM: I don't know much. Played a couple times. Obviously he keeps putting himself in contention in difficult tournaments. It's a matter of just getting it done. There's no shortcut to something like that.
Especially in this tournament you're going to have to show up on the weekend and play good. So, so far he's been doing it. Hopefully, I'm one of those that spoils the weekend for him.
Q. What do you look forward here yourself on the weekend?
JON RAHM: I'm looking forward to lunch and that's about it. I don't want to think past that right now. Lunch and some family time and we'll see what the weekend has.
Q. Given what we had today, what kind of job did they do setting up the course?
JON RAHM: I think they did okay. It's really hard to know how it's going to play. The only pin I was surprised at was 8. Because it's in a complete slope where the wind's blowing. My putt was a foot from the hole, I blinked and it was four feet from the hole. It just kept rolling backwards.
But besides that I think they did a good job. You also don't want to go to an extreme of making it a little bit too easy during a difficult day. So, you know, I think it was fairly well done. It's not easy. I wouldn't want to be in the situation where I would have to set up the golf course because, you know -- they did what they needed to do, which is let the greens get a little slower and add a little bit of water so they wouldn't get burned out this afternoon.
Q. Are they slower than yesterday?
JON RAHM: Oh, yeah. This morning you could tell. They were a little bit softer as well. Obviously as the day goes on they get really, really firm.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports