KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — When Jon Rahm came though the interview area here at Kiawah Island on Saturday, following an even-par round of 72 on a relatively wind-less, low-scoring day, he was running hot with competitive fire. The Spaniard felt he missed his chance to run up the leaderboard and put himself into position at his first major.
“I don’t know and I don’t care, to be honest,” a stone-faced Rahm said in response to the one and only question he faced from the media about how the course was playing. “Being in 40th place and finishing bogey-bogey like that, I really don’t want to be here right now.”
Moments later, he was gone.
A day later, Rahm was back. With the perspective that comes with shooting four-under 68, Rahm — who has battled his temper throughout his career — wanted to clear the air.
“I could probably take a second to apologize everybody here because my attitude yesterday after the round maybe wasn’t the best,” he said. “It’s not anybody’s fault here or at home, so I’m sorry for that. It’s okay to be upset, and I’m never going to judge myself for being upset, but I will judge myself if I don’t conduct myself properly, and I definitely didn’t yesterday.”
Rahm’s fourth round, he said, was a testament to the power of a positive attitude — something Rahm said has been Phil Mickelson’s greatest asset throughout his career. Mickelson was leading when Rahm addressed the press Sunday, and there was no doubt who he was pulling for.
“Phil’s enthusiasm is what keeps him going; at his age, has the same enthusiasm I have at 26, and he’s been doing this a very long time,” Rahm said. “For him to keep that willingness to play and compete and practice, even when he hasn’t been working, it’s truly admirable, so I hope he gets it done I hope he gets his win. I hope he gets to put that stamp in history that would not be beaten in a very long time.”