Kiawah Island (United States) (AFP)
New dad Jon Rahm forgets the pressure of chasing his first major PGA Championship title on the windswept island of Kiawah as he holds his six-week-old son Kepa in his arms.
The third-ranked Spaniard is among the favorites this week, but he’s able to put aside the training needs and tournament tension when it’s daddy’s time.
“It definitely changes. Once he was born, and even before, I could feel the priorities were just starting to shift from being a mere 26-year-old to becoming a father, ”Rahm said on Tuesday.
Rahm is still chasing his first win since his wife Kelley gave birth to their first child days before last month’s Masters, where he shared the fifth. It was his sixth top 10 in a major, his best of those thirds at the 2019 US Open.
Rahm has something else to play right now and Kepa makes it easy for him to leave golf problems on the course.
“I’m here to do a job, I’m here to train, I’m here to play, and then once I’m done with my whole day I’m coming home now it’s time. of dad, who at the same time is wonderful, ”said Rahm.
“I come home and forget what’s going on around me. I forget that we are on the island of Kiawah, I forget that we are in a major, and I forget what the mission is. It is also very refreshing for the mind.
“The feeling of presence I have when I’m with him is unique, so it can only be a good thing for me as a person and as a career. “
Rahm finished in the top 10 to nine of 11 events before the start of May, but last won the BMW Championship last August.
“I still have to prioritize my career to provide for my family,” said Rahm. “I think that’s been the hardest part when I’m home, because I wake up early, he usually wakes up and I hold him in my arms, and the last thing I want is to go.” to go train. “
And her nights have not yet been sleepless.
“Sometimes I would wake up, sometimes I wouldn’t, but that’s fine with me so far,” Rahm said.
What could produce sleepless nights for many players are the delicate winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean.
“It’s hard to know what to expect,” Rahm said. “It’s incredibly firm up there right now so with the holes downwind the ball is bouncing off the greens.
“It’s really nice to get to know the wind. So if you’ve been here in the past and played easterly and westerly winds, I think you have some strategy advantage on some holes. “
– “Get involved in the club” –
Those who played at Kiawah Island when the PGA was last on the Coast Track saw the course in August rather than the new PGA May dates.
“It’s a real golf course for a ball attacker. I enjoy the challenge, ”said Rahm. “It rewards good moves. If you don’t hit a good, you’re going to have to fight for a par. Sometimes a bogey can be the best you can do. “
And Rahm said a major concern will be trusting your shooting decisions and club choices in volatile winds.
“Some of the holes downwind, the ball goes very far,” Rahm said.
“That’s one of the challenges, being able to commit to the club you have even though you might be hitting clubs a lot longer than what you’re used to at certain distances in the wind.
“When you’re right on the ocean and you have a humid place, you have a lot denser air. You have to take this into account. You have to club it, you have to adapt to it. “
© 2021 AFP