The PGA Championship, Jon Rahm’s penultimate challenge | Sports

Last day of the Masters. Hole 15 and Jon Rahm heads towards the bathroom, a few meters from there. That walk, that shutting himself in the cubicle helped him, once again —because on that day he visited the urinal up to five times— to focus on what remained. Concentration, aim and glory. “It occupied me mentally for a few minutes, it’s a bit of peace without cameras and without people,” acknowledges the man from Barrika, already at Oak Hill Country Club (Rochester, New York), where the PGA Championship (Movistar) will be held from today until Sunday. Golf), the second major of the course. What happened after the bath is known; Rahm conquered the green jacket and his second great after the 2021 US Open. “Those moments relax him, take the pressure off him. It was very good for him to be focused and balanced ”, resolves Joseba del Carmen, Rahm’s sports coach. Challenge achieved. But there is more. There is always more.

Right before the Masters, Jon had already won three tournaments (American Express, The Genesis and Sentry Tournament) and had met his goals for the season. So through online sessions, he connected with Joseba. “He fulfilled them quickly, but we had to keep moving forward. So it was about readjusting them and, of course, adding the Masters. The evolution, now that he has also won the jacket, is to continue with that illusion, desire and ambition, although in his case it is inside him and it is not difficult for him. But so that it is not routine, they try to vary it and focus on certain goals in the short term, ”explains Joseba, while slipping that Rahm is satisfied but wants more. It has always been like this; as a child he announced that he would be number one in the world.

At that time, his character played tricks on him on occasions, irascible when the ball did not pay attention to him or, simply, he did not win because he knew the best. Now he also thinks about it – he recently acknowledged that if he played at his best level he did not believe they could beat him – but he understands that in sport you lose more than you win, even though he resists the statistics. Two weeks ago he was second in Mexico after his friend Finau and he showed that maturity. “If he gives his best and doesn’t win, he feels satisfied because what he does is evolve and keep improving,” explains Joseba; “He appreciates what he has achieved and is motivated and focused to continue winning.” What happens is that his challenges, already number one, are global.

The immediate, the PGA. “He goes with maximum enthusiasm to try to be the best, to compete and play with concentration. In addition, there are possible records that encourage him, because he likes to give us those joys, ”says Joseba. He refers to the fact that no Spaniard has ever won this tournament, also that since 1951 only 12 players have managed to win two majors in a season [el último Jordan Spieth, en 2015]. “It is something that few can say that they have done it and I have three opportunities (the British and the US Open will be missing)”, pointed out Rahm, who added: “I constantly think about making history. It is how you are remembered. It’s still selfish and giving something to your ego, but it motivates me.”

It will not be easy for you because Oak Hill is complicated, full of trees and gusts of wind. “Here you have to play very well and the course will be as difficult as the PGA wants to put the flags. The pairs are very good and you have to try not to screw it up too much, ”he clarifies. Along with him will be the Spaniards Pablo Larrazábal, who recently won in Korea (DP World Tour); Adri Arnaus and Adrian Otaegui. The ones that will be missing are Tiger Woods, who had ankle surgery in April, and Sergio García, who no longer has an exemption to participate in a big one – five years have passed since his Masters – and he does not have the points now that he plays in the LIV .

Rahm will start at 2:33 p.m. and will have an amazing game with Englishman Fitzpatrick (current US Open champion) and Australian Cameron Smith (current Open champion). Two rivals to take into account as are Scheffler, Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, McIlroy, Morikawa and Spieth, as well as Schauffele, Hovland and Cantlay. “Jon handles pressure and expectations very well. He knows how to forget what he does and what is around him because he lives that experience ”. And if not, then he will go to the bathroom. Everything is for his always penultimate challenge.

Players with two or more consecutive majors

with 4. Tiger Woods (Us Open 2000 to Masters 2001).

With 3. Ben Hogan (Masters a British 1953); and Jack Nicklaus (PGA 1971 to US Open 1972).

with 2. Ben Hogan (Masters and US Open 1951); Sam Snead (1951 PGA and 1952 Masters); Arnold Palmer )Masters and US Open 1960); Lee Trevino (US Open and British 1971); Tom Watson (US Open and British 1982); Nick Price (British and PGA 1994); Tiger Woods (Masters and US Open 2002), as well as (British and PGA 2005); Phil Mickelson (2005 PGA and 2006 Masters); Padraig Harrington (British and PGA 2008); Rory McIlroy (British and PGA 2014); and Jordan Spieth (Masters and US Open 2015).

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