Rahm admits that his Masters win felt more “special” than his US Open victory

Mark McGowan

Jon Rahm (Image: James Gilbert/USGA)

Jon Rahm has admitted that his Masters win in April felt considerably more special than his US Open win at Torrey Pines in 2021.

Speaking to the press ahead of the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Georgia, the world number three was asked how special a FedEx Cup win would be in comparison to winning major titles.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to give you a ranking while I’m here at the FedExCup finale of what’s more important than others,” Rahm responded, “but obviously, majors are the most important thing in golf, right? That’s how it’s been and that’s kind of how it is.”


Rahm went on to say that the FedEx Cup being a cumulation of several weeks’ worth of play gave it an added dimension, but conceded that somebody who had won both a major and the FedEx Cup, which Rahm has yet to do, would be better placed to answer, before interestingly adding: “I would have told you that the U.S. Open would have been my most meaningful win until the Masters happened. Even though it was my first major, that Masters win felt very, very different for some reason. I can’t explain why, but it was very, very special above what the U.S. Open was.”

That Masters win was the last of Rahm’s four PGA Tour titles in 2023, and he admitted that the early season successes had taken their toll on him.

“Well, it was the first time for me being in contention for so many weeks in a row, and being in contention every time it’s a little bit more taxing,” he said, “especially Sundays if you’re on the lead or close to the lead mentally, right? You think you’re always putting the same output, but the pressure’s a little bit different, right?

“So just leading up to the Masters and what that week was, I mean, with the delays and the weekend I had to play, I was a little bit tired. I went to Hilton Head and still performed good. I never quite did have enough time to be able to, like I would say, fully recover from that. It was like a slow process for that to happen.

“But I mean, that’s the beauty of golf, there’s always the following week. And it’s a good thing that happened. I learned a lot about myself and hopefully for the next time I’ll be better prepared to handle it.”

Rahm goes into the Tour Championship fourth in the rankings despite being the regular season FedEx Cup leader, with Scottie Scheffler taking over the number one position, Viktor Hovland moving up to second and Rory McIlroy third.

McIlroy’s length off the tee continues to amaze spectators and media alike, given his relatively small stature in comparison to the likes of Rahm and Scheffler, and Rahm admits that though he’s no longer surprised by Rory’s power, he’s come to accept that he’ll probably be behind him when they’re both on the fairway.

“I mean, at this point — maybe the first few times you’re impressed,” he said. “At this point, it’s just the norm. You know he’s going to step up there and hit it past you. So I think it’s more of a surprise when maybe loosely he hits a good one and we get close to him, right?

“But I mean, there’s no ego involved in that. Like, I’m a hundred percent confident he can hit it harder than me if he needs to. Like, at this point, it’s not a surprise, no.”

Max Homa and his caddie Joe Greiner castigated a fan on Sunday at the BMW Championship for yelling out as he and Chris Kirk were putting because the fan had apparently got a bet on whether they made or missed their putts, and though Rahm wasn’t aware of the incident, he informed the media that it’s a much more common occurrence than previously thought.

“I feel like we hear it every single round,” he told us. “That happens way more often than you guys may hear. I mean, it’s very, very present.

“In golf, spectators are very close, and even if they’re not directly talking to you, they’re close enough to where if they say to their buddy, I bet you 10 bucks he’s going to miss it, you hear it.

“So it happens more often than you think, yeah. But not only that, on the tee and down the fairway. I mean, luckily golf fans are pretty good for the most part and you’re hearing the positive, I got 20 bucks you make birdie here, things like that. But no, it’s more often than you think.”

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