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Jon Rahm is the Masters champion and a former US Open winner, but his eyes are now firmly set on winning golf’s oldest major.

The Spaniard has enjoyed great success on links courses with Irish Open triumphs in 2017 and 2019, but is now targeting his first Claret Jug at the 151st Open on the famous Wirral links of Royal Liverpool. caught up with the Rolex Testimonee to hear all about his preparations for the final major of the year at Hoylake, as well as his favourite courses on the Open rota…

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What is your favourite Open venue to play?

Carnoustie in Scotland is a tough test. Whether there is good weather or bad weather, it is always a difficult golf course. I have always really enjoyed playing at Royal Portrush. Being in Northern Ireland is just a bit of a different experience and I always appreciate being there. The golf course also plays a bit differently due to the altitude and elevation changes on some of the holes which you do not usually see and adds an element of fun.

Another staple is Royal Birkdale in England. That’s one of the best venues that you play at in the rotation. It is simply difficult no matter what and you have to play really solid golf. Royal Troon in Scotland is the same. In reality, all the venues in the rotation are iconic. They are all different and amazing golf courses in their own right.

If you play them at the wrong time, they can be so difficult and vice versa, if you play them at the right time, they can be so much easier. It is hard to pick one particular venue as my favourite. The one that I wish I could play is Muirfield and Turnberry in Scotland. Those are the two that I hear unanimously might be the best. I have not yet been able to play them in The Open or for fun but hope to one day. 

How does your preparation change depending on the venue? 

My preparation does not really change depending on the venue. The fundamentals all remain the same. In terms of Royal Liverpool, I have played it once before many years ago. I still remember the course and the fact that we had very good weather.

It was one of my first times in the UK. Based on the past, it is a golf course where you have to shoot low to succeed. Tiger Woods has shot very low there before, for example. You have to make birdies. I have heard that they have made some changes to the course in recent years so I do not know what to expect.

There is a very unique situation between the third hole and 18th hole. You have the out of bounds from the range right there. It is very unusual but makes it really cool. The third hole is a sharp dog-leg right around the practice ground which is also very unique.

 Do you have any earliest memories of watching The Open?

It is hard to pinpoint my earliest memory of watching The Open but I do have memories of Tiger Woods and José María Olazábal competing for the Claret Jug on the final Sunday in 2005 at St Andrews. In that day and age, Tiger Woods was very hard to beat and ultimately won that year. I think that is my earliest memory of The Open.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

I cannot narrow it down to just one piece of advice! It is always circumstantial but I think my father gave me the best advice. He told me: “There are 24 hours in a day. You sleep for eight hours and have 16 hours during the day to do what you need to do. Organise it properly and there is plenty of time to do everything that you want and need to do. Make sure you are efficient with your time and become better at what you do”. Now as a father myself, I completely understand what he meant when he first told me that. 

What would you tell your younger self back in 2016 when you first turned professional? 

I would probably tell myself to hit less golf balls on the range as you do not need to do that but I would not change much honestly. I have been fortunate that my career has gone very well so far and I would not change anything drastically.

The hardest thing is getting used to the ups and downs of professional sport. I went from an amateur to top ten in the world in nine months, to finishing top five in the world the same year that I turned professional. It is very difficult to get used to that. During the second year as a professional, I had to adapt and get used to all the attention that came with going from a nobody to somebody very quickly. I would not change anything about my practice or the way that I approached tournaments but if I could somehow better prepare my younger self for dealing with the fame or attention that comes with success, I would.

Jon Rahm Masters

Jon Rahm was speaking to as a Rolex Testimonee. His association with the brand began back in 2016.

“To see the support that Rolex has for all of the PGA and DP World Tour events is truly incredible,” he said. “It is unique for a brand to have such a deep connection with a sport and there is definitely a reason why the relationship between Rolex and golf has worked and continues to work so well.

“I think it all comes down to the brand’s values, commitment to all levels of the game and the elegance associated with it.

“Golf is an endlessly complicated sport but it ultimately boils down to a simple idea and concept – just like with watchmaking,” he said. “I just love the Rolex logo and how the brand is recognised worldwide. Wearing a Rolex adds a unique element of class and being a Rolex Testimonee means so much to me.”

author headshot

Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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