Does Rahm need to grow up for major success?April 9, 2018 Opinion
Jon Rahm is one of the most exciting talents in the game but does he need to grow up and keep his emotions in check a bit better? James Savage and Mark Townsend give their opposing views
Jon Rahm opened his 2018 Masters campaign with a 75, but halfway through the back nine on Sunday he was a couple of shots off the lead and in with a shout at following in the footsteps of his compatriot Sergio Garcia.
But after a bogey on the par-5 15th, the ugly side of Rahm’s game reared its head again.
Slamming his club into the tee box on 16 – despite finding the middle of the green – had patrons nearly choking on their Pimento cheese sandwiches.
And as his frustrations continued through the closing holes, it became quite uncomfortable to watch.
So is it time for Rahm to learn how to keep his emotions in check?
Yes, says James Savage
There is absolutely no doubt that Rahm is one of the most talented players in the world.
His rise to the top table of golf has been nothing short of sensational and he seems to contend in every event he plays.
He has the complete game – hits it a mile, solid iron play, imagination around the greens and a superb putter.
Yes, it’s nice to see a bit of passion from time to time but there’s a fine line between passion and petulance.
Rahm clearly has very high standards but the very best players in the world will still hit the odd bad shot.
No one wants to see players throwing clubs around.
I can’t see how it will help him play his best golf and it surely doesn’t go unnoticed by his playing partners.
If anyone had the right to be upset during Sunday’s final round it was Rory McIlroy.
But the four-time major winner handled himself with class as he saw another Green Jacket slip through his fingers.
Rahm is 23 years old so can be forgiven on that basis but I think it’s time for him to grow up a bit.
No, says Mark Townsend
I’ve got to admit I struggle to warm to big Jonny Rahm but it’s a bit like telling Tyrrell Hatton to calm down after he’s nearly won a WGC.
Different things work for different people and what Rahm does on the course works an absolute treat for him.
He turned pro in 2016, he’s won twice on both tours, he’s nearly won two WGCs, he’s the World No 3, he’s 23 years of age and now he knows what it’s like to contend in a major.
Roll the clock forward to Le Golf National and we’ll be all over Rahm and his histrionics, by the time that comes around he might be a major champion.
From what I saw at Augusta his attitude and all that huffing and puffing didn’t cost him any shots on Sunday.
He needed something special at 15, took on the shot after back-to-back birdies and very nearly pulled it off.
He shot a 69, like lots of them it could have been better but the interesting point is how he battled back from a first-round 75.
A lot was expected of him, he looked to have played himself out of contention but he then put together rounds of 68-65 which shows a pretty strong mind to go with a dazzling game.
There’s plenty of time for Rahm to ‘grow up’ and mature but, for now, he’s barely putting a foot wrong with his golf so let’s just let him get on with it.