Finally with his first big win at the US Open last year, John Rahm stated that he is keen to win more prizes in the game and perform more consistently at the highest level.
It is It took Phil Mickelson 34 years to win his first major, but you did at 26 with your US Open win last summer. Have you ever felt the pressure of making every major come?
No. It is very easy to get into the mindset that only majors count and nothing else matters. I mean, we all know that winning a major isn’t easy, and that’s why only a select group did it. I came to last year’s US Open hoping to play well, but I had some relief. You know, I can use my cowardly results and my lack of practice as an excuse not to play well.
As I got older, my mood changed a bit, and I was a little more relaxed on the golf course mentally than before. Bad shots still bother me, but I don’t let them ruin my rounds or my day. Since becoming a father, I know that I need to be more role model to my son, even though I know he is too young to understand, but I need to be a better role model for him and the other kids. I’ve done some things on the golf course in the past that I’m not proud of, and I wish I could have deleted it, but I can’t and I have to move on.
In the past I have been disappointed at the US Open. I made a lot of birdies and a ton of boogie and double boogie, but in Tory Pine I was able to change that kind of thing and I made more birdies than bogies and got it done.
How good was last year, how do you judge this year’s success? What are your parameters? What are your goals?
My goal is always to get better every year. But, you know, it’s hard to say. Last year I had some very consistent results, but I only got one win, so I can tell you right now that if I was able to win more, I would gladly accept a little more inconsistency. So, it all depends on how you look at it. Continuing with the best-five finishing every week, will take you to number one in the world, but will win every week. Winning with a lot of other good players out there is hard to count as a success, because it’s a game where winning often doesn’t happen unless you’re back in the day. You can’t just think of a second place as a loss. So, back to your question, my goal is to try and have a better year than last year. It remains to be seen how this manifests itself.
Which is more important, to be No. 1 or to win more major?
Well, I got both now, so all is well! Becoming World No. 1 is the result of playing really good golf for a long time, where winning a big championship is performing really well for just one week. The chances of someone coming and having a better week than you are are very low, but it is very difficult to do so for a very long time, so I was very proud to get to No. 1 so early in my career, with or without a major.
Of course, I want to win more tournaments, and hopefully some more majors, but I want to be the best and consistently high performing golfer. Everything else is out of my control.
I think there are some magic formulas that some people are able to instantly deal with the extra stress and strain of a head and it took me a while to figure out what it was. Jordan Spieth, for example, seems to have discovered this formula early in his career, when some like me took longer. But this is something you need to find out. Every time I played a major I felt more comfortable and gave myself a better chance, and I finally reached a point where all the stars were aligned and I was able to get the job done.
Do you enjoy having No. 1 goal behind you?
Yes, that’s right you can now become known as a Lord of the Rings. I’m number one in the world because of the way I’ve played in the past, so if I want to stay here I have to keep playing at that level and try to do better. At the end of the day, I can only focus on myself, and try to improve my game. If I can do that, and play the way I can, everything else should take care of itself.
That is to say, I am not constantly looking at the rankings and checking what other players are doing and wondering if X, Y or Z are coming for me and if I need to do this or that. No, I’m trying to play my best and hope to win a few tournaments.
How satisfied are you with the way the decision to change your equipment and join Callaway has worked? Judging from your results last season, it seemed like a pretty non-stop conversion.
You know, at the end of 2020, when I’m changing manufacturers, if you ask me if I got the kind of year I did last year, I would believe you, but I was ready for the first few months a little struggle. Despite having everything immediately – new clubs, new golf balls – I was confident that things would work out, but I was still trying to be realistic that it might not be as straightforward as before. The new ball and the new iron have allowed me to hit some shots that I have not been able to do before and this has been seen in my performance, and I hope this year I can get one more quality year and hopefully win a bunch. Tournament
You have the new Callaway Rogue ST Max driver in your bag. Can you talk about this new club switch?
I did some testing at home in the off-season and I really like it so far. My spin rate seems to be a little more consistent with Miss. Obviously the better Miss can be, the better it will be for me. So from what I’ve seen so far from my Trackman numbers, and I definitely seem to be hitting it off well, all signs are looking good.
I like the overall look of it. I’m a big fan of the matte color – I have a matte black car – so I like the matte black crown of the disease. Also, I really want to be able to see the carbon fiber that goes through it. It reminds me of a Formula 1 car and I think it looks really chic.
You took two and a half months off from golf after the Ryder Cup. Feel that you need to recharge your battery a bit after so many busy years?
Yes, it’s been 18 months or more since we returned from Covid in June 2020, and with the trip my son was born, equipment change, Rider Cup and all tournaments, I just needed a little break, and so did my family. I just wanted to be a father, to be a husband and to have time for my wife and my son.
I’m really glad I did it. I wanted to be more involved in those first months. I really enjoyed waking up a few times a night and taking care of my son. To be able to be there in the morning, bathe him, feed him and enjoy the simple things of parenthood. I really wanted to cherish those moments. I know I will not be sorry if I decide to spend more time with my family and I have made this decision based on that decision and I cannot be happy.
During your vacation, did you keep an eye on what was happening on the tour? For example, have you ever seen a tiger play with his son?
Of course I did. I’m a golf nut and I watch a lot of golf on TV. It was really great to see Tiger play golf again and to see that connection between father and son and how much Tiger is in Charlie. It’s an inspiration to other dads, so hopefully I can play with Keper [his son] And one day I am competing for that event. Charlie obviously has a lot of talent – much more than I did at 12 years old. So, if he continues to work hard, which I am sure he will, I will not doubt for a second that we will see him compete here one day.
As a golfer who plays around the world, what was the reaction to the proposed Super Golf League and what was your reaction to Phil Mickelson’s comments about the PGA Tour and what did he think of ‘criminal greed’?
Listen, I try to stay away from that. I’m here to play golf, and that’s about it. Phil has been on tour for a long time, and I’m not here to judge anyone. Phil said what he said. That’s it. He is still a great friend of mine. I don’t know why he said what he said, but I can only say I support him as a friend, yet I don’t agree with everything he says.
Wherever I am in life I can consider myself lucky. I am a PGA Tour member and it will stay that way. Hopefully I have a long career ahead of me on the PGA Tour. They [the PGA Tour] They have done such a great job and I am grateful for what they have done and what we have to play as competitors.
You finished runners-up in your first tournament back from your break, the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January, despite shooting 33 under-par. Have you ever thought that you would go so low for 72 holes and still not win?
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. You can’t help but feel good about your game when you shoot these numbers. It was an odd week to say the least, but it was a great start to the year, so I have to look positive!
How do you keep in shape physically and mentally?
I don’t want to talk too much about my specific routine, but I can tell you that I exercise in the gym every day. It’s not a rule of fitness or weight loss, but I’m working to be the best golfer I can be. So, I have a routine that I do every morning and every night to work towards that goal.
I also do a lot of mental work. I am very interested in journalism. I like to write. It helps me focus and reconstruct my thoughts and emotions. When I finish I get almost the same feeling that I do when I meditate or practice mindfulness, because I am thinking about what I am feeling right now. It’s a great one for my mental well-being and it’s something I do every day.