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SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm didn’t mince any words.
“That was blown out of proportion like crazy,” Rahm said about his take on reports and chatter concerning his withdrawal from last week’s American Express.
Rahm said he had a little tweak of a muscle while working out in the gym and decided he didn’t want to force the issue. That’s it.
“I think it was more overdoing it in the winter, maybe not getting rest. And I could have played last week. I just wanted to be 100 percent sure it was going to be fine for this week,” Rahm said Wednesday after his pro-am round in the Farmers Insurance Open. “It’s a long year. I could have pushed it and played last week, but I didn’t want to maybe sacrifice events in the future, so that’s why I decided not to play. But I had no pain by Monday, it was just more about the fact that besides being cautious, I just wouldn’t have been able to really be hitting balls and practice by maybe late Tuesday, Wednesday.
“Physically I’m feeling great, so nothing to worry about. It wasn’t very serious.”
And he’s in a great place, for it’s safe to say Rahm loves Torrey Pines. He won the Farmers Insurance Open in his debut in 2017, tied for fifth in 2018 and finished second in 2020. Loves to vacation here, loves the vibe of this petite residential community on the northern coastal area of America’s Finest City. Posts a lot of red numbers – he has 73 birdies/eagles in four starts.
And most importantly, he got engaged here.
It was love at first sight despite the ghastly conditions he endured the first time he played at Torrey Pines in the winter of 2016.
“Blowing 20 and raining and we played it tipped out and I thought it was the most difficult golf course on the planet,” Rahm said. “I don’t think we hit anything less than 6‑iron into any green, it was absolutely ridiculous.
“But yeah, it was love at first sight. This coastline, it’s so similar to where I grew up (in Spain), the cliffs and the look that you get overlooking the cliffs and the ocean. I get a great feel to being back home. I grew up on Poa annua grass, so it’s just somewhat nostalgic and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I love it so much. It’s always a date that I have marked on the calendar. I love this week.”
The winner of five PGA Tour titles and six European Tour titles began his year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he tied for seventh. He finished his two-win 2020 with a tie for seventh in the Masters and a tied for second in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood.
He also began the year with new equipment. The world No. 2 will eventually have a full bag of Callaway clubs and will use a Callaway golf ball.
“I actually wanted to play last week to get rounds in with the Callaway stuff,” Rahm said. “The only tournament I played is in Hawaii where you have crazy lies, crazy winds and a bit of an unusual golf course, right? So if anything, not that it was a negative, but I was looking forward to playing a tournament where the greens are perfect, very similar conditions to what I practice in Scottsdale.
“What happens, happens. It is what it is. I’m not going to overthink it. We made a decision. Like I said, I could have played, but I decided not to.”
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