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March 23, 2023

Jon Rahm

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. What was the biggest difference between yesterday's match and today's match?

JON RAHM: The biggest difference was on the greens. Started pretty solid yesterday on the first five, six holes, maybe the front nine. But after that, I didn't really -- didn't have my best, even starting on 4, 11, 12, and 14, those are 30-, 40-footers that usually I hit within 3 feet, and all of 'em were 6 feet or longer. I made one of 'em, missed three of 'em. That's what cost me the match, plain and simple. Apart from that, I hit a couple of really good putts that just didn't go in.

Today, it was kind of the opposite, right, we were pretty even up until 8, and then 9, 11, 12, I make those putts and I suddenly have a five-shot lead. So that was the main difference. Tee to green, pretty similar.

Q. Losing yesterday's match put you kind of in a position where today's a must-win if you want to get out of group play. Did that affect your approach at all or change the way you looked at the match?

JON RAHM: No. You can't be thinking of tomorrow. Obviously, I'm fully aware that I win the next two matches, I give myself a really good chance. The one thing I would need is for Rickie to lose and then if I win tomorrow, I'm guaranteed to at least be in a playoff. So that's what I had in mind.

But there's also a million possibilities. I think at one point, right, it could have been a group where we all end up winning one and a half points. The scenarios are so many, that it is way easier if you just focus on what you can control, which is the shot in hand. I did a really good job today. Hopefully I can play tee to green as well as I have the last two days.

Q. Sorry to ask you about the ball again, but do you think the debate about it on the professional tours will rage on and on? Obviously, Rory had his say on Wednesday --

JON RAHM: I didn't hear what he said.

Q. He thinks it will be a good thing and it will reward creative players and will return the integrity of the sport.

JON RAHM: I think it sets manufacturers back quite a bit. I don't think it's fair to tell all these brands to have to go through the research, the development, and the testing of a brand new golf ball just for a few of us. You're making them spend millions today putting them through the USGA testing to maybe fail and have to go through all that.

I just don't think the PGA TOUR and the manufacturers are going to put up with that. I have a hard time believing it. But it's happened before. They have changed the grooves, they keep having -- figuring out limitations for our game, but either way whatever happens we'll deal with it. I don't think -- like I said, I think the USGA could be investing their time in how to improve the game of golf in a lower level, how to get more amateurs and more junior players to play, not on trying to make it more difficult for us when course setup is all they need to do for golf to be hard enough for us.

Q. Rory also said that if the PGA TOUR didn't adopt the rule, just chose not to play, (inaudible) that he might play with a shorter ball anyway just because it would prepare him better for the majors. Could you ever see yourself doing that?

JON RAHM: Let's see if the majors decide to do it. I find it hard to believe as well that the majors would go completely against what the professional tours decide to do. And if that were the case, if that were to happen, that would set a huge divide in the game of golf that is just not good for anybody.

So whatever they choose, hopefully it's unanimous and then we'll deal with it, whether it's a change or not. Again, I think Rory, to an extent, is right, the change benefits the better player, especially the longer players. We kind of talked about it, and I think I would be hitting it 10 to 15 yards shorter, which would put me on what I was doing in 2019, 2020, and my golf game was pretty good back then as well. So I don't think it would be a big difference.

Q. Do you think the game of golf needs another big divide? We've already been through one.

JON RAHM: I think we need to do everything we can to stay united. Again, I would say the same example, right? I think Valspar, Colonial, Valderrama, even TPC Sawgrass, for the most part, winning score is never too low, no matter how far we hit it. And even Riviera, even golf courses where they haven't really lengthened them that much, some of them they have, but they don't need to and there still challenging. So course design and course setup can do a lot more than the ball change.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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