Jon Rahm bids for more glory as Masters champion gets straight back to action
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Masters champion Jon Rahm is targeting a “jacket double” after resisting the temptation to withdraw from the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head.
Rahm claimed his second major title at Augusta National on Sunday and revealed he was thrilled to receive a congratulatory message from tennis star Rafael Nadal.
However, the world number one has put the celebrations on hold for a week to make the short journey from Georgia to South Carolina to contest one of the PGA Tour’s designated events, whose prize fund of 20million US dollars is two million more than the Masters.
“Monday I was extremely tired. I don’t know how else to say it honestly,” Rahm told a pre-tournament press conference at Harbour Town.
“I was not very useful in any sense and I tried to be a dad as much as possible. We stayed one more day in Augusta and just tried to relax, had a family day and yesterday we flew here. (It was) not the celebrating some people might think I’ll be doing. That will take part next week.
“It was a very demanding week, a lot going on with the weather and a lot of fighting and a lot of work mentally obviously. So it’s going to take a little bit to get to a good spot, but I’m feeling good.”
Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are among the players to have withdrawn from the RBC Heritage following the Masters, with McIlroy having missed the cut and Day shooting a final round of 80 at Augusta.
Rahm concedes that he thought about doing likewise, but ultimately did not want to disappoint any young fans who want to see him try to add the tartan jacket presented to this week’s winner to the famous green jacket worn by Masters champions.
“It did cross my mind, but I made a commitment earlier in the year and I want to honour that commitment,” he added.
“Talking to Kelley (his wife), I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids as well. If I was one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters champion play good or bad, just want to be there.
“I still intend to hopefully do the jacket double and take this one home. But it did cross my mind (to withdraw) and obviously I think it would have crossed anybody’s because I was so tired.
“But that’s why I decided to come in yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and take it easier and just give my body a rest before I got into competition mode. I can promise you that every time I tee it up in a tournament, it’s going to be to win. I intend to try my hardest to win.
“But I think it’s going to be opposite to most tournaments. I feel like I’m going to be feeling better every day. So I think it could be a little challenging early on, but if I can get through the first two days, I think on the weekend I’ll feel back to normal.”