January 22, 2023
After sprucing off his fourth win in his final six worldwide begins on the American Specific, Jon Rahm was requested what different athletes he respects for the way they deal with success.
It’s a good query to ask the person who’s the most well liked golfer on the planet. Nobody has crushed Rahm in 2023. He’s a mixed 54 underneath in two occasions, each wins and, going again additional, he’s solely completed exterior the highest 10 as soon as since August.
Rahm mentioned it was a “very lengthy listing,” however the one he named first, caught out: the late Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant.
“I spent loads of time listening to loads of his interviews and movies as a result of I see loads of similarities between us in the way in which we method our craft,” Rahm mentioned. “As a result of craft is the key phrase for Kobe. And having that obsessiveness that we each have over the sport. It’s any person to study from, for certain. Work ethic beats expertise day by day of the week, interval. And I wish to suppose that I’ve a extremely arduous work ethic and I put loads of time in.”
Winner’s bag: Jon Rahm’s Callaway gear on the 2023 American Specific Championship
Bryant wasn’t the one particular person he introduced up. He talked about his private buddies 23-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps and Arizona Cardinals gamers J.J. Watt and Zach Ertz, but it surely shouldn’t be shocking Bryant was the primary one he named.
It’s additionally attention-grabbing Rahm bought requested that query this week.
He confirmed up on the American Specific seemingly a person on a mission: He wasn’t going to be crushed by anybody.
He’d been vocal, for months, about how he was getting the quick finish of the keep on with the current adjustments to the Official World Golf Rating. Regardless of his outstanding run in his final 10 occasions, he’s moved solely from No. 6 to No. 3 within the Official World Golf Rating.
Rahm hasn’t precisely been quiet about his opinion on the rating, till this week.
He didn’t point out it as soon as in his pre-tournament press convention or every other time throughout the week. He even handed up an opportunity to touch upon it when a reporter referenced it, saying, “Regardless of what some computer systems may say.”
That query was about whether or not or not Rahm might preserve his run of dominance.
This time Rahm channeled Bryant’s Mamba Mentality, proving his personal obsession with perfecting his craft.
“In my thoughts, I really feel like I can get loads higher,” Rahm mentioned. “I really feel like that’s the mentality I ought to have. Once more, I work very arduous to do what I do. I might discover errors in each single spherical I’ve performed. Only a few instances I might say I’ve performed a flawless spherical.”
Regardless of his efficiency, it’s not truly that tough to select points Rahm had this week. He stalled halfway via his third spherical when he shortly jumped out within the lead. His putts stopped falling after the cup was seemingly as large as a basketball when he was 24 underneath via 48 holes.
The putts had hassle falling Sunday too even when Rahm mentioned he thought they have been getting in.
Jon Rahm will get a fortunate bounce, wins once more on the American Specific
“On 5, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17 and 18, all of these putts have been good,” he mentioned. “All of them regarded like they have been useless middle with two ft to go and simply on the finish they simply missed.”
His ball putting, then again, was otherwordly this week. Rahm completed sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Inexperienced for the match, however that’s deceptive as a result of the primary two programs he performed didn’t have Strokes Gained information. He missed simply 12 greens all week.
“If I can maintain that going and the ball putting on the stage that I do know I can, I do know I can get higher,” he mentioned. “Once more, it’s my job to attempt to do the very best I can and to date I’m doing a fairly good job.”
Like Bryant, Rahm isn’t going to cease attempting to get higher, and whereas he wouldn’t say it, he’s bought a singular alternative this week to trip momentum towards the highest spot on the earth rankings.
Subsequent week’s occasion on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open begins early, on Wednesday and Rahm has historical past at Torrey Pines. He notched his first win there in 2017 and his largest win on the U.S. Open in 2021.
“If I can maintain hitting it off the tee and my iron sport retains staying at this stage I’m going to have a extremely good probability at that golf course,” Rahm mentioned. “So I can’t assist to smile as a result of, once more, it’s a really, very emotional week each time I’m going. In an excellent means. It’s a really particular place in my coronary heart.”
He was equally bullish on Thursday when requested about his possibilities. He was nonetheless two photographs again on the time.
All of us noticed how that turned out.
Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn State College, incomes levels in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his highschool golf staff and nonetheless *tries* to stay aggressive in native amateurs. Earlier than becoming a member of GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but additionally producing, anchoring and even presenting the climate. He could be reached at [email protected]