Despite opening 67, Jon Rahm wishes he took more 'advantage' of Vidanta's conditions
Jon Rahm would have liked some more downtime after his Masters triumph.
"I wish I could say one week off was enough," Rahm said Wednesday ahead of the Mexico Open. "It was a long Masters and then went right away to (the RBC Heritage), so it wasn't — I wish I could have rested a little more, but it is the life we signed up for."
Now, playing for the third time in four weeks, the world No. 1 is trying successfully defend a title on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career — and he got off to a slow start (for Rahm's standards) in doing so.
The 28-year-old Spaniard played his first nine holes at even par with two bogeys. However, after making the turn, Rahm looked more like the player who has recorded four wins this year, playing his second nine in 4 under.
Full-field scores from the Mexico Open at Vidanta
But the first half of his round still left a sour taste in his mouth.
"I'm happy with the score," said Rahm, whose opening 67 has him four shots back of Austin Smotherman's lead. "Those first 13 holes we had virtually no wind, about as easy conditions as it can get. I wish I would have taken advantage of it more. I did make some good swings early on, I just couldn't quite get the number and judge some lies off the fairway, but that's just things that happen."
Yet, Rahm ended his day on a positive note, birdieing the par-3 ninth (his last hole of the round) by rolling in a 25-foot putt.
Jon Rahm birdies his final hole to wrap up a second-nine 31.
The defending @MexicoOpenGolf champ fires 67 and is three off the current lead.pic.twitter.com/IpXlwJ5pXa
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) April 27, 2023
"It's a difficult hole," Rahm said. "It's not the smallest target but you don't really have margin of error. It's into the wind, the wind was starting to pick up, so you have to hit a quality shot to put it on the green and then to make the putt again, like I said. I was rolling it really well all day, so to finish it off that way, obviously it always feels like you're stealing one from the field."
Last year, Rahm went wire-to-wire in his victory south of the border. Though that won't be the case this year, there's plenty of golf to be played — and a come-from-behind win would be much better than another week of rest.
"I've only been able to defend the (DP World Tour's) Spanish Open as a professional," Rahm said Wednesday, "so it wouldn't be the worst thing if I could make the Mexico Open be my next defense."