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Rahm taking inspiration from Tiger ahead of Torrey Pines

Rahm taking inspiration from Tiger ahead of Torrey Pines

Jon Rahm returns to action at this week’s U.S. Open just a fortnight after being withdrawn after the third round of the Memorial Tournament on the PGA TOUR after testing positive for Covid-19.

Jon Rahm

The Spaniard, who was leading at Muirfield Village before being withdrawn at the conclusion of round three, has completed his required quarantine period and feels confident ahead of his sixth U.S. Open appearance.

Hoping to rekindle the form which saw him tie the record low 54-hole score at the Memorial Tournament, the 26-year-old is taking inspiration from Tiger Woods’ victory at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods famously defeated Rocco Mediate in sudden death after an 18-hole Monday play-off despite having a double stress fracture in his left tibia and also requiring ACL replacement surgery.

“I wish I was a little bit more prepared,” said Rahm. “I was hitting it pretty good a couple of weeks ago, but I feel like, as athletes, we’re always wanting more. I feel like every time I go tee it up, I always think I could have done something more. I could have done this, I could have done that.

“Once you tee off Thursday, it doesn’t matter. You go do a job. Was it 13 years ago Tiger won on pretty much a broken knee without really being prepared? Once the gun goes off, it doesn’t matter. So, in that sense, I’m still confident.”

Jon Rahm

The World Number Three has previously enjoyed success at Torrey Pines, winning his first PGA TOUR title at the San Diego venue in 2017. He has since finished T7 or higher in three of his last four appearances at the Farmers, including runner-up in 2020.

“I’m happy to be here and I’m comfortable,” added Rahm. “I’ve played well here in the past, and hopefully I can keep up the good play. The biggest difference (to the Farmers Insurance Open), besides the rough, obviously, you can actually get lucky and get some decent lies, or you can get some that it’s hard to move five yards.

“So the discrepancy is big. It’s going to happen; it’s a U.S. Open. You’re going to get good breaks and bad breaks. You add that to the fact you have quite a few 500-yard par fours, and you have a monster of a golf course.”

Also teeing it up with positive memories of Torrey Pines this week is World Number Eight Patrick Reed, who finished third on the 2020 Race to Dubai Rankings. Reed won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year by five strokes, the largest margin of victory at the event since Woods won by eight in 2008.

Patrick Reed

“This golf course is a very tough golf course,” said the 2018 Masters Champion. “It’s a golf course you can play a regular event at or you can hold a Major Championship at. There’s not a whole lot of courses that are like that. Torrey speaks for itself.

“This time of year, with it being firmer and faster, it plays differently. I have to stay aggressive. It’s not as much being aggressive off the tee as it is more on the second shot. Get yourself conservative off the tee, get on the fairway and from there allow my irons to attack.

“Preparation has gone amazing. My team and I have worked really hard leading into this week. I feel comfortable when I’m here to stay lose, play some golf, and really just see how the golf course is changing day by day. But we feel good.”

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