‘You guys always try to look for something’: Jon Rahm gets spicy after misses

Jon Rahm

“Nothing but positive.” 

Those were the first three words from Jon Rahm on Saturday during his post-third round press conference at the American Express tournament. Remember them. They’ll come up later.  

And big picture at the Pete Dye Stadium Course, things were great. Rahm shot seven-under 65, which followed back-to-back 64s on the tournament’s other two courses in play, and he’ll start Sunday’s final round in a share of a four-stroke lead with Davis Thompson. All of that, too, continues a Rahm heater: Since last September, he’s played in six events ahead of this week and finished no worse than a tie for eighth, with three wins.    

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But then you may dig some, and you see that Rahm was eight-under through 12 holes on Saturday, before playing the final third of his round at one-over. On another day at the American Express where the field was sprinting, Rahm had stalled — on 13, he missed an 11-footer for birdie; on 14, a 6-footer; on 15, a 20-footer; on 16, an 8-footer; on 17, he three-putted; and on the 18th, Rahm missed a 13-footer for birdie just to the right of the hole. 

And that led to the exchange:

Reporter: “The putts on the back especially, is it something you just kind of slough off and say, OK, got to deal with it?”

At “OK,” Rahm rolled his eyes. 

Rahm: “I feel like you guys always try to look for something that’s just not there. Thirteen, great roll. Fourteen, great roll. Fifteen, great roll. Sixteen, misread. Seventeen, misread. That’s it. Very simple. All of them good strokes. I can tell you there were earlier putts that weren’t as good as some of those and went in dead center. That’s just golf. I mean, if that isn’t a description of golf, I don’t know what is. Felt really good on a lot of ’em. It is what it is.

“Listen, I’ve enjoyed two and a half days of making pretty much everything I looked at. I’m glad that if I’m going to have a cold stretch of putts, it was today, not tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

Reporter. “I was going to say, I appreciate the explanation because a lot of times people see that and they think …”

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Rahm: “Oh, on TV they love to say, Oh, he mishit it. He pulled it. He pushed it. It’s not always that. Sometimes we misread the breaks and that’s what happened to me.”

Reporter: “Some of us don’t even get that close.”

Rahm, laughing: “Listen, they’re not always the easiest.”

Nothing but positive! 

Was he right to shake off his misses? Sure. That’s what makes him one of the best in the world. Was Rahm a little snappy? Sure. He’s that way sometimes. Was he OK to be? Sure. Though kindly, the reporter was asking about a typo on an otherwise masterpiece. There is another big takeaway, though, in that exchange, and we’ll retype it here: 

“I can tell you there were earlier putts that weren’t as good as some of those and went in dead center.”

Come Sunday, watch out. 

“Ball striking felt amazing,” Rahm said. “Hit a lot of great shots out there off the tee. Giving myself a lot of opportunities with the irons. Took advantage of quite a few of them.

“So very confident going into tomorrow.”

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