History, history, history and up to seven times has named Jon Rahm the word history in his first appearance of the week before the media. There is no need to remind the golfer from Barrika of too many things about what has happened here. He is young and it is his first Openbut he knows a lot. She reads it and sees it. She drinks it.
The same thing speaks to you of the putt of Seve Ballesteros on the 18th hole in the 1984 edition that of the bogey of Tom Watson a little before or after the bundle of Douglas Sanders. She has seen it a thousand times. It is the legacy. It is the tradition. It’s what turns Jon on. He likes it so much that he’s had his eye on a couple of bookstores st andrews to stock up on golf history reading material. Of course, it will have to be in another visit. “I would love to go, but there are too many people. I could not. It will have to be on another trip that does not coincide with an Open », he assures.
Therefore, in these times of LIV Golf and millions of dollars dispatched in contracts with a confidentiality clause, Jon is excited to be living this 150th edition of the Open Championship firsthand. «I believe that this is a tournament in which if they pay us zero we all come the same. That’s what this means. When there’s so much going on that have changed a bit the dynamics of golf and certain messes in the world that are happening, coming now to this edition, to this course, is something that golf needs and for me it is a pride, “he says. Few stronger statements of intent will be heard this week. In case anyone still has doubts about what moves Rahm.
It will be Jon’s first Open in st andrews. A whim of fate. It premiered at the British the year after it was played for the last time at the Old Course and has had to wait six years, with one added delay due to Covid. More waiting, more desire. “I really like the Old Course if it is played in this year’s conditions. When it is firm and hard, it is one of the fields of rotation that I find most entertaining », he points out.
Rahm knew St Andrews when he was a boy. He didn’t even play golf. his father, Edorta, had been practicing for a very short time and took a trip to Scotland to go to the cradle. Only he played, but Rahm remembers on the putting green just to the right of hole 1 shooting some putts. “I don’t remember many things, but I do remember that,” he says. There he was inoculated forever with the poison of golf and history. Seven times history.
Del Old Course loves its history. “The golf course itself is quite special. I don’t think there are many other courses where there are only five individual greens and all the shared fairways and all these blind spots and all these many different ways to play it. It’s the history of the game and how much it means. I know the Open started in Prestwick, but the R&A Club has been here, being part of the Scottish heritage. The green area of the 18th hole, the 1st tee, is unique », he explains.
Jon will officially play the Old Course for the second time. The first was in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2019. He played it with his father and signed 73 shots, one over par. It wasn’t his best day of golf, but he did get a few things on his head. “I didn’t have my best swing that day and usually when I make a bad swing I miss to the right. The first nine were windy from left to right, like today. I think I hit every bunker on the right in the first nine. Don’t hit him right. That’s what I learned. It is a field that is based on the wind. Any type of wind you have and any direction can change this golf course drastically. You have to know when to be conservative, when to be aggressive, and on which holes to take the correct line and on which holes you can go off to the left of the tee. You can go left all day, but with certain flags and certain winds, you’re really going to come up short, so you have to take your opportunities at the right time. It is the most beautiful aspect of this field. It allows you to play your game. But there are some holes where you have to take risks », he sentences.
The rest is history.