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Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Jon Rahm  (Getty Images)
Jon Rahm (Getty Images)

Jon Rahm returns to the place where it all began this week when he tees it up at Real Club Valderrama in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Rahm was not quite three years old when friends of his father came round to watch the 1997 Ryder Cup being hosted in continental Europe for the first time and that was when the golfing bug was caught in the Rahm household.

Fast forward ten years and Rahm was attending his first European Tour event, watching future Ryder Cup playing partner Justin Rose win the Volvo Masters with Rahm's Captain to be and several of his 2018 team-mates in the field.

A two time Rolex Series winner, Rahm is now a peer of many of the men he watched play 12 years ago, and he admits none of it would have happened were it not for Valderrama.

"The 1997 Ryder Cup, friends of my dad came over to watch it," he said. "They didn't know what it was and they came and realised what a big deal it was and they started playing golf because of that. I'm here because of that Ryder Cup.

"Then the Volvo Masters in 2007 when Justin Rose won is when I came to watch my first professional event. The first shot I ever saw anybody hit was Thomas Bjørn - a bunker shot on seven where he got up and down for par.

"Henrik Stenson signed my shirt, Paul Casey signed my shirt, some of my Ryder Cup team-mates signed my shirt and I ended up watching Justin Rose win. There's just a lot of memories and it's funny to see that I'm actually competing with those guys and being team-mates with a lot of them."

Rahm arrives in southern Spain feeling a little under the weather but he insists there will be no excuses this week in front of his home crowd.

I'm here because of that Ryder Cup - Jon Rahm

"I think I might have caught a little cold," he said.

"The only thing that makes it worse is the jetlag, you're already struggling with some jetlag and it's hard to stay up, congestion, just tiredness and body aches in general. It's nothing I haven't played with before.

"I played today and I played really good, my swing was feeling good, it's just dealing with it more than anything else. It's not too bad, nothing that should stop me form playing good. I'll never make that excuse.

"It's unique, it's great, especially when you come to this golf course and it's in this shape and how good it is and you get this weather, it's beautiful. It's a hard week to beat and I'm really looking forward to playing in my home country."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-10
T2QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-4
T2LORENZO-VERA, MikeFRA18-4
T2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-4
T2DE LA RIVA, EduardoESP18-4
T2RAHM, JonESP18-4

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