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Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm: How a Tiger Woods tip inspired my PGA Tour winning spree

Golf’s most in-form player says he bent the ear of the 15-time major champion – and came away surprised by his answer. Matt Chivers explains

 

Jon Rahm has become the most consistent player on the PGA Tour, but this didn’t happen without picking the brains of a certain 15-time major champion.

Speaking ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the World No 1 revealed a conversation he once had with Tiger Woods about winning on the PGA Tour, a conversation only the elite could relate to.

Rahm has won 10 times on Tour with each trophy coming in a number of ways. He came from deep in the field to beat Collin Morikawa at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and fought hard to win against Davis Thompson at the American Express.

Lest we forget his pulsating birdie-birdie finish to win the US Open in 2021. These victories were all unique and representative of a chat the Spaniard once had with Woods that stuck in his mind so vividly.

“The thing is, you don’t need to be firing on all cylinders to win,” Rahm said. “I actually had a conversation similar to this with Tiger. I asked him, ‘out of the 82 wins on the PGA Tour, I didn’t get into the other ones, how many times do you think you played your best all four days?’

“And he said, ‘three at most’. Right? A lot of those Sundays he played his best, but the whole week, very few.

jon rahm

“The 2000 US Open, the 2000 Open Championship, and I think you can pick any other 2000 win. Those two, I kind of brought up and he said he agreed to those two. I don’t know what other one.”

One reporter suggested the other one could be the 1997 Masters which Woods won by 12 shots, but as Rahm impressively pointed out from his encyclopedic golf memory, he was 4-over-par in the first nine holes of that tournament.

Rahm arrives at Bay Hill in pursuit of his fourth win this season and he didn’t need world rankings to tell him he was at the top of the world pile after his second victory in a row at the Genesis Invitational.

You could argue the 28-year-old didn’t have his A-game in Los Angeles, a frightening prospect for his competitors that hope to taste victory in Florida this week.

When Rahm was asked if anyone could beat him while he was firing on all cylinders, “No,” was his blunt answer, but an answer he’d expect from the likes of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler too.

Rahm’s two opponents in the battle for the World No 1 spot have both donned the winner’s red cardigan at Arnie’s place with the former returning as the defending champion.

His sole appearance in this event in 2022 resulted in a finish for 17th, but the rampant Rahm is relishing the current triple-threat at the top of the world rankings.

“They’re both great competitors, great, great competitors,” Rahm added. “Rory, it’s hard to say anything about Rory that hasn’t been said already. When he’s firing on all cylinders, it’s a thing of beauty.

“The way he hits the ball and his ball flight off the tee, especially, is quite unique. Scottie, I would say he has a great ability to post a really good score.

“There’s a lot of times where I’ve played with him and maybe it doesn’t look the prettiest, but you end up the round and, oh, 67.

“It’s pretty remarkable. Obviously, both great players, both great champions, both of ‘them work really, really hard at their game. That’s what I would say about each one.

“I know we mention Rory’s driving all the time, but it really is something to admire when you see it in person.”

Will Jon Rahm win AGAIN at the Arnold Palmer Invitational? Tweet me and let me know!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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