Jon Rahm is not one to rest on his laurels. Just a week after winning his first major title at the Masters, the world number one showed up at the RBC Heritage and put himself in contention with a brilliant second-round 64.
Rahm admitted that he was feeling drained and low on energy when he arrived at Hilton Head Island, but he also predicted that he would get better as the week progressed. He proved himself right by bouncing back from a mediocre opening 72 to post the lowest round of the day on Friday.
The Spaniard made seven birdies and no bogeys on the challenging Harbour Town Golf Links, moving from outside the cut line to within six shots of the leader, Jimmy Walker. Rahm said he was motivated by his commitment to the tournament and his respect for the fans who came to watch him play.
“I think it’s going to be opposite to most tournaments,” he said on Wednesday. “I feel like I’m going to be feeling better every day. So I think it could be a little challenging early on, but if I can get through the first two days, I think on the weekend I’ll feel back to normal.”
Rahm has been a master of comebacks this season, winning four times after trailing at the halfway mark. He overcame a two-shot deficit at Augusta National, a one-shot gap at The Genesis Invitational, a two-shot margin at The American Express, and a whopping five-shot difference at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
He will need another strong performance on Saturday to close the gap on Walker, who shot a 63 to take a two-shot lead over Collin Morikawa and Cameron Smith. But Rahm is not intimidated by the challenge, nor by the contrast between the Masters and the RBC Heritage.
“I keep going back and forth, images of what I did last week to what I have to do this week,” he said. “It’s completely different golf courses, completely different grasses, completely different conditions.”
Rahm also enjoyed playing in sunny weather on Friday, after dealing with rain delays and interruptions at both the Masters and the first round of the RBC Heritage. He said he felt more comfortable and relaxed on the course, which translated into better shots and putts.
Rahm’s best stretch came early in his round, when he birdied four holes in a row from the 14th to the 17th. He capped it off with a 32-foot putt on the par-3 17th that drew a loud roar from the crowd. He added three more birdies on his back nine, including a tap-in on the ninth after nearly holing out his approach shot.
Rahm is playing in his second RBC Heritage, having finished tied for 58th in his debut in 2019. He said he likes the layout and the challenge of hitting precise shots and shaping the ball both ways. He also appreciates the history and tradition of the event, which dates back to 1969.
“It’s one of those places where you have to respect where you are,” he said. “It’s a very special place for many people.”
Rahm will try to make it even more special for himself by adding another trophy to his collection on Sunday. He knows he has a lot of work to do, but he also knows he has what it takes to get it done.
“Things can get complicated here on this golf course, so I have to keep hitting a lot of good shots,” he said. “But I’m feeling good. I’m feeling confident. And hopefully I can keep it going.”
Final Thoughts: Jon Rahm’s Resilience and Potential for Another Victory
Jon Rahm’s performance at the RBC Heritage is a testament to his resilience and unwavering commitment to the sport. Despite winning his first major title at the Masters just a week prior, Rahm showed no signs of slowing down and instead, rose to the challenge of competing on a different course with different conditions.
Rahm’s second-round 64 was an impressive display of his skills and mental fortitude, as he climbed from outside the cut line to within six shots of the leader. His ability to bounce back from a mediocre opening round is a recurring theme this season, as he has won four times after trailing at the halfway mark.
Moreover, Rahm’s dedication to the RBC Heritage and his fans is commendable. He acknowledged feeling drained and low on energy upon arrival, but he predicted that he would improve as the week progressed. His commitment to the tournament and respect for the fans who came to watch him play drove him to deliver an exceptional performance.
Rahm’s appreciation for the history and tradition of the RBC Heritage is also noteworthy. He expressed liking the layout and the challenge of hitting precise shots, and shaping the ball both ways. This is a reminder that golf is not just about winning, but also about respecting the sport and the venues that host it.
Looking ahead, Rahm’s potential for another victory at the RBC Heritage is high. He acknowledges the challenge that lies ahead, with Jimmy Walker currently leading by two shots. However, Rahm’s confidence and positive outlook bode well for his chances of closing the gap and adding another trophy to his collection.
In conclusion, Jon Rahm’s resilience, dedication, and potential for another victory make him a force to be reckoned with on the PGA Tour. His performance at the RBC Heritage is a testament to his exceptional skills and unwavering commitment to the sport.