RSNG

Sport

Why Jon Rahm Has Always Wanted To Win The Open Championship

The RSNG Team

In June 2021, Jon Rahm became the first Spanish golfer to win the U.S. Open – not a bad way to get your maiden major golf win under his belt. Wanting to add many more to a rapidly growing CV, the man who has now topped the golf world at both amateur and pro levels believes this is just the beginning.

But, having to be humble in the face of success is good for ego management, and as Rahm tells RSNG, there’s one person in his life who finds his golf ranking totally irrelevant…

RSNG How did life change for you winning your first major tournament? JON RAHM, WORLD NUMBER ONE GOLFER “It actually didn’t change, at all. Except for the fact that I was able to take a week off after the tournament and relax, recharge my batteries and spend some time with my family.”

“Having a young child in the house with us means that everything in life – no matter what it is – is totally irrelevant to him haha! He still needs to be changed, he still needs looking after and he doesn’t care about anything else outside of his own little bubble, just yet.”

RSNG When you first earned your temporary tour card in 2016, you had been playing in America for four years, through college and your amateur career. Do you think that gave you the grounding to win the US Open? JR “Well, I have always wanted to win The Open Championship, the British Open. But I have always thought that because I have played the huge majority of my golf in America, it would be harder to win on a links golf course.”

“So, maybe that’s why I have been able to win the US Open before any other major. I would like to think that links courses do suit my game more, but I’ve not yet been able to convert that to wins on British soil. I am hopeful that I can eventually win an Open Championship and I think I am getting closer, after a tied-3rd finish at Royal St George’s. So, I will go to St Andrews for the 150th Open next year and try my best there.”

RSNG It will be the first time you have experienced Open conditions there, won’t it? JR “Yeah, that’s right. I have played St Andrews in the Alfred Dunhill in Fall (Autumn) conditions and the wind down the back nine – certainly from 12 to 18 – was not a fun experience, at all, haha!”

“So, I will be hoping that the conditions in Scotland in July are going to be a bit more helpful. Although, I’ve been told that it can still be a little cold and breezy up there even in the summer.”

I can’t wait to try and get revenge in Rome – Europe has a great record at home and the Americans aren’t so good on our patches

RSNG Obviously, the result in the Ryder Cup this year wasn’t the one that you wanted. But was the experience like now you’ve had a chance for the dust to settle? JR “It was always going to be a tough challenge to try to go over to America and win against a set of very talented players who were in form. You’ve got players like Bryson [DeChambeau] who hit the ball a mile and that’s a disadvantage right away.”

“When you look at the way we played in parts of the weekend, I would say that we played okay. We came out of the first morning well in touch, but losing three of the four matches wasn’t great.”

“We knew that we had to up our game in the afternoon and although Tyrrell (Hatton) and I were able to tie against Bryson and Scottie (Scheffler), due to Tyrrell’s great putt on the 18th, as a team, we just couldn’t get going.”

RSNG You were the team’s top points scorer and you won three of your five matches. Do you take anything from the event on a personal level? JR “On a personal level, I know I was happy with my own performance by getting 3.5 points on the board. But that means nothing to me as we weren’t able to bring the trophy back.”

“If this was an individual matchplay competition like the WGC (World Golf Championships) or whatever, then I would be far happier with my performance. But as it’s a team event and, as Europe, we win, lose and draw together, I can’t be happy.”

“I love the Ryder Cup, I love representing Europe and I tell you that I can’t wait to try and get revenge in Rome in two years’ time. We’ve a great record at home and the Americans aren’t so good on our patches, so fingers crossed.”

RSNG It shows that the illness or discomfort that you had in the weeks leading up to the event didn’t affect you in the slightest? JR “No, I suppose not. But I think that I was more just rundown than anything else. It could be that I was eating too many rich foods and my stomach just didn’t agree with that.”

“I was really looking forward to playing in the Ryder Cup so it would have taken something monumental for me to miss the event. Of course, it didn’t matter in the end, but life goes on and there’s always time to regain the trophy.”

I do hum – I don’t think it does help in any way, it just happens – whatever song the baby has been watching on TV will be the song in my head! Something like *Baby Shark!*

RSNG I’ve heard you say that you are completely focused when you’re putting, but you can still hum a tune. Is that true and how does that help you? JR “Haha, yes I do hum. I don’t do it as a party piece, and I don’t think it does help in any way, but it just happens. I think just because there has been a beautiful new arrival in our house this year, that could come into it.”

“The tune may change every time – maybe not a totally different tune all of the time, but it won’t be the same one. Whatever song the baby has been watching on TV or listening to, that will be the song in my head! Something like Baby Shark, haha!”

RSNG Who do you think is the player to watch in the next few years? JR “That’s a tough question because there are so many on the tour who are potentially great players in the making – if that’s what you mean. There are also a lot of players who have been a little out of form this season who may be a force next year.”

“But if I had to name one player who I think can make the breakthrough and get to that next level on a consistent basis, that would be Viktor Hovland. He is an absolute machine of ball-striking and you can’t do much better than that.”

“He has a complete game when it comes to golf. He does everything really well and I will be very surprised if he doesn’t add to his two PGA wins – I think he has – and also his one win on the European Tour.”

“He’s still such a young player at 24 years of age and he only turned professional a couple of years ago. So, he’s learning all of the time and his potential is frightening, if he can get a bit of luck – because we all need that – he can be a great, great player.”

WHAT NEXT? Find what Bryson DeChambeau thinks about changing times in golf with our exclusive interview here.