"This is for Seve, I know he wanted to win this tournament", were Jon Rahm's first words when he won his first and only major so far, the US Open 2021. The boy from Barrika (28 years old) who dreamed of emulating that Martian from Pedreña who placed Spain at the top of a virgin sport in our country.
“None of us would be here playing if it weren't for Ballesteros. My duty is to follow his legacy ”, recalls the ‘León de Barrika’ on a recurring basis; that stout, direct and sincere golf player who was born in the San Telmo neighborhood and who grows in the history of golf by leaps and bounds.
Jon Rahm, numbers
Rahm is in an almost insulting state and without having finished January he already has two PGA Tour titles for a total of nine... the same ones that Seve achieved. The two come together in an almost magical fusion as Jon follows the path of his idol as if reflected in a mirror.
Of course, the future predicts that the apprentice will far exceed the teacher. Rahm managed to be number one in the world for 36 consecutive weeks to Seve's 20, although in total the Spaniard reached 61 weeks for the 43 that the Biscayan has.
Another milestone that is still far away are the five majors from Pedreña, Rahm has one. But the brilliant star who was born with a clubbed right foot and whose life was changed by the 1997 Ryder Cup has had a hectic few months: he has won four of the last six tournaments played and in the last ten, except for one 15th, the Top 8 has been the worst result.
In fact, in the eight rounds that he has completed in 2023 his average is 65.75 punches and an incredible -54 is his aggregate. And he has entered 3.81 million euros in prizes. The change from TaylorMade to Callaway, the great workhorse in 2022, has been diluted and the current symbiosis is perfect.
"Golf consists of seconds of action and many minutes fighting against one's own mind", Rahm also has among his verbal jewels... along with another that defines his current emotional state with his wife Kelley Cahill and their children Kepa and Eneko as protagonists : “The happier I am off the field, the better I play”.
After prevailing in The American Express, Rahm showed that he only thinks of continuing to grow: “It is a great joy to win two in a row and to be the second time that I have achieved two victories in the PGA in the same year.
I am very happy with the great work I have done and continue to do. I have put the ball where I mentally imagined that I was going to place it. I have enjoyed different types of victories and I liked this one because it was a fight.
I won't win all of them, obviously, but I will come to Torrey Pines as the leader of the FedEx Cup and I'm very excited about what I'm achieving… and also give you something to write about”. Another reference.
The leader of 2023 and third in the world ranking behind McIlroy and Scheffler (for a curious way of scoring) also wanted to praise an athlete with whom he feels very identified: "During my university years there was someone who reached my heart beyond golf, which was Kobe Bryant.
I spent a lot of time watching a lot of his interviews and videos, because I see a lot of similarities between us in the way we approach our craft. Because work was the keyword for him. Work ethic trumps talent every day of the week, period. And we both have that common obsession with sports”.