Jon Rahm: “Playing Masters Sunday with Tiger gave me a lot of confidence”

Jon Rahm returned to winning ways at the Mexico Open at Vidanta last weekend. It was his seventh PGA TOUR title in six seasons. It was an especial

returned to winning ways at the Mexico Open at Vidanta last weekend. It was his seventh PGA TOUR title in six seasons. It was an especially moving victory for the Spaniard, who will soon welcome his second child. This week is the player who writes the blog of the PGA Tour, which the circuit has ceded to MARCA.

Rahm’s blog

They say in Spain that children come with a gift under their arm, and the second one has already given me that gift. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My first son, Kepa, brought me the US Open last June and the next one has already given me this victory in Mexico.

It was great that my wife Kelly and Kepa were on the 18th green. As I was walking there I saw them and thought, ‘I better make two putts to make sure we have this winning moment.’ Kepa was still too young when he won the US Open last year, although I think he is still too young to remember this. I was hoping for that moment of him running towards me to come true, but I think he felt a bit overwhelmed. Still, it was great to be able to enjoy the victory with my family. It’s so much more fun and meaningful when they’re here.

I know I have my good qualities, but Kelly is a great person. She has many great qualities and for my part she knows that I cannot give up and always be positive. I think that’s one of my distinctive traits. Yes, I can seem frustrated at times and I may blurt out some of my anger or say a few things, but I am always hopeful and positive. That was the key to my victory. I never lost faith, I never lost my focus or my confidence, and that’s why I did it.

Jon, with Kelley and Kepa.

Then when it’s over, it’s over. I am a very different person on and off the course, especially when I compete on Sundays. That’s the stressful part of the job. Those days I have a much more serious face and a much more intense look. I consider myself very lucky to be in the position I am in in life. I have a wonderful family and a wonderful life. Once again, I feel blessed.

I am honored to win the Mexico Open at Vidanta. I came close to winning Chapultepec (World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship) a couple of times before and narrowly missed it. I feel like there was always something missing every time I finished that tournament. Therefore, I came to Vidanta wanting to win.

I have spoken at length about the importance of Seve Ballesteros and his impact on the game of golf and how I play because of him. Today we have a much greater reach. The PGA TOUR has become a bigger circuit, and with social media we are global stars, bigger than we were in the past. I feel that I can also have some impact in Mexico, and Mexico deserves a good tournament. We see how golf is growing in this country.

It was a wonderful week at a wonderful resort. For anyone reading this who is hesitating to play here, I say come on. Just coming to the resort is worth it. The golf course is a long course and is in perfect condition. It is a highly recommended week on the calendar. Obviously I will come back to defend the title and also it feels great to get this first victory in this part of the season. I had a couple of opportunities at the beginning of the year and I couldn’t close them. I got close in Hawaii and Torrey, and since then, I haven’t been close. So I am happy. I kept working hard even though the results were not in my favor.

That’s the game. I knew I was improving, I knew the results would come and winning in Mexico has shown it. I think playing the Masters on Sunday with Tiger Woods gave me a lot of confidence. I think I got a little too technical in my approach. I’m more of a feel player and that Sunday at Augusta, I told myself I just had to go out there and hit the ball, make my shots, watch the ball fly and execute. I made three under par without having my best material on a tough day.

So I applied the same strategy in Mexico: minimal technical thoughts, visualize the flight of the ball and return to my true self. I really saw the difference. My iron set was very, very solid, especially against the wind. I was able to land very, very good shots. Sometimes we go out of our way, but this time we didn’t, and I’m happy to get my first win of the season and be back in the FedExCup standings. I hope to get my second one soon.

It would have been much easier to play 18 with a two stroke advantage, if I may, instead of the stress that it was. I have had more enjoyable walks in the past and I think this is the first time I had to buckle up, to finish in style and strong, and in the end I was able to do it. It was also my first victory in which I lead from start to finish of the tournament and, although it was difficult in the end, I already have it.