TOUR Championship

Friday, August 25, 2023

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

East Lake Golf Club

Jon Rahm

Quick Quotes

Q. Was there a big difference between yesterday's round and today's round, do you feel?

JON RAHM: The only difference is I was able to hit it in the fairway more often. That's truly it. Every other part of the game felt pretty much the same.

Q. What was working so well for you out there today?

JON RAHM: It wasn't anything special. I'm working on a couple things to improve what the game has been the last few weeks. It's easy to do it in practice rounds and yesterday I was still a little hesitant. Today it was obviously much better.

Q. Is this a golf course you feel like you can be aggressive on? It seems like scores get bunched up and guys all kind of run with each other. Is that kind of the idea?

JON RAHM: I think you have to be aggressive. You have to keep an aggressive mindset. No matter what you're using off the tee, you have to put the ball in the fairway and then afterwards you have to attack. There's always going to be somebody having a good day shooting 65 or lower. It literally happens every day no matter the conditions we play in.

So if you're the leader by one you got to expect people are making birdies. That's just kind of how it's going to be. So, yeah, I think to an extent you have to be aggressive.

Q. Curious about the course and how it's playing. Does the heat make it a little bit easier -- not necessarily easier, but they have to keep water on the greens --

JON RAHM: This is the firmest I've seen these greens ever, by far. Firmest and faster, yeah. So I'm guessing they're trying not to have 'em to be too firm and fast because obviously there would be a lot of pin locations that would be unplayable because of the slope these greens have.

So they have to maintain to a certain firmness. But we've definitely played this a lot softer in the past, a lot, lot softer. So it's nice to see it a little bit different for a change.

Q. I think it was 12, but you fist pumped a par putt. What was it about that --


Q. 14. Sorry.

JON RAHM: Yeah, it was a solid 12-, 13-foot par putt to keep the momentum going. It just felt good to not drop one. It wasn't the worst tee shot in the world. I had no chance to hit it on the green. Another tough lie afterwards. And, you know, sometimes you can fix a hole with a good putt. It just felt good to keep that good golf going because I played really good up to that point and that was really the first tough par putt that I had.

Q. You've been in the throes of this from a couple years ago. What's the pressure like with a chance to win on Sunday compared with other tournaments?

JON RAHM: I think in the moment it's pretty much the same thing. It's still playing the tournament. It's still -- I think it's the same thing. You're not really - you're thinking about winning, not everything else, right? So when you're in contention with the best players in the world, I think it feels pretty much the same no matter what.

Maybe if it's a major, you're a little bit more aware that it's a major, obviously. But I wouldn't think it's really that much added to the situation. At the end of the day, the shot is the shot.

Q. What's the most pressure you've ever felt on the golf course?

JON RAHM: Of course I figured it was the golf course.

I'm going to have think a little bit. Obviously at some point this year the Masters up there. Ryder Cup as well. Quite a bit of nerves when I missed that short putt against Tiger on 16 going to the 17th hole. Obviously, the U.S. Open as well.

Majors, I would say. Obviously majors, Ryder Cup, are going to come to mind. Those are the biggest moments. I would say -- I don't know exactly at what point during the round, but if I had to pick, I would say probably at some point during the Masters this year on Sunday.

Q. Early in your career when you're first starting out, did you ever think about the money --


Q. -- in terms of if I miss this or make --


Q. Do you think --

JON RAHM: It's one of the things that frustrates me about watching this broadcast. Like, we're not thinking if we miss a putt how much it's going to cost us money-wise. No chance. Like, none whatsoever. You're trying to finish as high as possible. You're trying to win a tournament. It's one of my pet peeves when they make this tournament all about money because I think it takes away from it.

When you win a Green Jacket, I can tell you right now that any major champion this year might not remember how much money they made. And that's the beauty about this game and I think that's kind of how it should be. Obviously I'm saying that being in an extremely privileged position financially. I mean, at that point, from first to second, you're making a ton of money, so it's more about winning than the prize itself.

Q. But when you're a young guy, though, and money might -- the difference might really matter, if you don't have enough.

JON RAHM: No, no. I mean, my first pro event I was flag hunting on the last few holes. If I had to finish solo second I would have earned my TOUR card and I think I finished tied for third. I ended up earning it a couple weeks after that. But I was going for the win.

If you want to be a great player, you're going to have to go for the win instead of thinking about your bank account. Again, when I turned pro, I was already in a privileged situation because of what I had done as an amateur. So some brands took a chance on me and money wasn't an issue.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
136151-1-1044 2023-08-25 21:46:00 GMT

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