World number one Rahm: I don’t need a ranking to validate me

Ronan MacNamara

Jon Rahm (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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After winning for the fifth time in nine events Jon Rahm has finally returned to the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings but insists he doesn’t need statistical confirmation that he is the best in the world.

Rahm has spent much of the 2023 season questioning why he isn’t ranked world number one after a blistering run of form that has seen him become the first player since Johnny Miler in 1975 to win three times in a calendar year on the PGA TOUR before March, he also overtakes compatriot Seve Ballesteros in wins on the PGA TOUR.

The world number one spot is widely predicted to fluctuate between Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler and it remains to be seen how long the Spaniard can hold onto it for but it is reward for his dominant spell where he has finished no worse then 8th in 12 of his last 13 starts.

“If I were not to — I don’t know, I don’t get to No. 1 at this point, I don’t really care. I’ve won five out of my last nine starts, I haven’t finished worse than top 7 and I’ve won three tournaments already. I don’t need a ranking to tell me — to validate anything, right? Having the best season of my life and hopefully I can keep it going,” explained Rahm who labelled the ranking system as ‘laughable’ in November.

“I said it before, for the ranking to be accurate, we’re going to have to wait about a year and a half for all those points to kind of, I don’t know if recycle is the right word, but for the people that earned points before they changed the system for everything to even out.

“I’m also right on what I said earlier on the year. I mean, this is — if I get to No. 1, I’m the third player to be No. 1 in the world in, what, just over a month and a half. You know, it’s the beauty of the year that we’re living right now, it’s exciting for us to play and exciting for the golf fans because things like this can happen.”

The 2021 US Open champion will be one of the form horses for the four major championships this year after a disappointing spell in them last year. Often a frustrated figure when things aren’t going his way, Rahm is a dangerous man when playing with a smile on his face.

“Obviously I’ve been extremely disciplined my whole career, but right now I’m seeing the dividends of a lot of the hard work over the years. So just keep doing the small things and keep enjoying it, having fun.

“Obviously when you’re playing good it’s really fun and when you’re winning tournaments, extremely fun, but got to enjoy the tough moments as well. Try to take it all in and, like I said, keep doing the little things properly every day and hopefully keep putting myself in position to win.”

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