Jon Rahm admits he would prefer to emulate Seve Ballesteros and win Race To Dubai rather than $10m at FedEx
For a 22-year-old who last year had to budget carefully so there was enough money to eat at the end of the month, $10 million (£7.4 million) is clearly a sum of which he has only recently begun to dream. But, as “special” as winning this week’s FedEx here would be, Jon Rahm has revealed he would prefer to lift the European Tour equivalent in two months’ time. The Race To Dubai bonus is worth “only” $1.25 million to the winner, but it would clearly mean so much to Rahm than merely the finance. Lifting the Harry Vardon Trophy would put him alongside his great national hero – and, at the same time, put him ahead of two other golfing countrymen he so admires. At third place on the Order of Merit, he is certainly well placed, with even the cross-continents double achieved by Henrik Stenson in 2013 a tantalising possibility. “I mean, one of these [the FedEx or Race to Dubai] would be something outstanding, something beyond belief, but in Europe it would be a little more special just because the last Spaniard to win the Race to Dubai was Seve Ballesteros,” Rahm said. “Neither Sergio [Garcia] nor [Jose Maria] Olazabal have been able to do it. And if I get to do it in my rookie year? Well, I still can’t fathom.” At three under after six holes of the second round of the Tour Championship here, Rahm was only three behind pacesetter Webb Simpson. The brilliant Basque is one of five of the 30 players in this Tour Championship at East Lake who are guaranteed to top the FedEx standings if he wins the tournament. Having already won more than £4 million this season, it would raise his earnings to yet more fantastical levels. The five golfers to have won a career grand slam - and the 12 three-major winners, including Jordan Spieth “It wasn’t that long ago when I was in college and counting how much I could spend a day to still be able to have food on the last day of the month,” he said. “Yeah, I mean, it’s hard not to think about the prize for any of us, but more than that we all play for the pride of being named FedEx Cup champion. But you know, $10 million would come in handy.” Meanwhile, Tiger Woods released a statement on his official website detailing his recovery from a fourth back operation. The 14-time major champion has not played competitively since February, but all those who hoped to see him return to the competitive fairways this year look to be disappointed. Woods, 41, declared he was sleeping better since the operation in April and no longer has nerve pains shooting down his leg. But, in terms of his golf game, the progress remains cautious. “I’m starting to hit the ball a little further – 60-yard shots. I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery in April, but continue to chip and putt every day,” he said. The changing face of Tiger Woods “I’m working out six days a week, alternating between the treadmill, bike riding, swimming and lifting twice a day. My muscle tone is coming back, but I’m not in golf shape yet. That’s going to take time.” Woods revealed he was due to undergo his six-month X-rays and this is when the consultant will outline a timetable. He said: “Playing wise, I’m not looking ahead yet because I don’t know what kind of swing I’m going to use. I just don’t know what my body is going to allow me to do. Until I do, I’m going to listen to my doctors.” Woods did not address his recent arrest for driving under the influence, when he was discovered to have five different drugs in his system. Woods booked into a clinic in June to rehab from his reliance to prescription drugs.