Jon Rahm Has Always Been Different.
He was different when he won the Spanish Under-16 Championship by nine strokes when he was only 14 years old. He was different a year later when he won the Under-21 national title by five shots. He was different when he arrived at Arizona State University (ASU) on a fouryear golf scholarship barely able to speak more than a few words of English. And he was different again when he started notching up collegiate titles at a rate not seen since Phil Mickelson passed through the very same campus in the late ’80s. Rahm would eventually claim 11 NCAA individual titles to Phil Mickelson’s 16. “They call me the best right-handed player in the history of the college,” Rahm says, laughing, as we chat in the breakfast bar at Trump National Charlotte a week after the USPGA Championship.
Today Jon Rahm is not just a stellar righthanded collegiate golfer, he’s the fourth-best golfer of any orientation on the planet. The only adjective that comes anywhere close to adequately describing his transition from low amateur in the 2016 US Open, ranked 551st in the world, to finishing 7th in the Tour Championship is meteoric.
Turning professional immediately after the US Open at Oakmont last year, Rahm earned his PGA Tour card in just four starts and has virtually camped out on leaderboards ever since. After winning the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, sinking a curling 60ft eagle putt on the 72nd hole to clinch the title, he embarked on a blistering stretch of golf that saw him finish T5 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am, T3 at the Wgc-mexico Championship and runner-up to Dustin Johnson at the WGC-DELL Technologies Matchplay. In the final against Johnson, he recovered from going five-down early to take the match all the way to the final hole. But for a portable toilet door slamming shut just as Rahm was about to chip from the back of the 18th green, he may very well have become the quickest player since Tiger Woods to break into the World’s Top 10 after turning professional. Either way, he’s arguably the most complete golfer to emerge on to the professional scene since Woods back in 1996.
“Jon doesn’t have weaknesses,” Phil