RBC Heritage: New Masters winner Jon Rahm pursues extra glory after tough Augusta triumph
Jon Rahm scored a four-shot victory at The Masters on Sunday and pondered withdrawing from the RBC Heritage, however will headline the PGA Tour sanctioned tournament; Watch early coverage live on Thursday from lunchtime on Sky Sports Golf
New Masters champion Jon Rahm is targeting a “jacket double” after resisting the temptation to withdraw from the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head.
Rahm claimed his second major title with a four-shot victory at Augusta National on Sunday, taking him back to world No 1, although put celebrations on hold for a week to make the short journey from Georgia to South Carolina to headline the latest of the PGA Tour’s designated events.
“Monday I was extremely tired. I don’t know how else to say it honestly,” Rahm told a pre-tournament press conference at Harbour Town. “I was not very useful in any sense and I tried to be a dad as much as possible. We remained one more day in Augusta and simply tried to rest, had a family day and yesterday we flew here.
“[It was] not the celebration some people would believe I’ll be doing. That will take part next week. It was a very demanding week, a lot going on with the weather and a lot of fighting and a lot of work mentally obviously. So it’s going to take a little bit to get to a good spot, but I’m feeling good.”
Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are among the players to have withdrawn from the RBC Heritage following The Masters, with McIlroy missing the cut and Day shooting a final round of 80, with Rahm decided against doing the same as he chases a fifth victory of the year.
“It did cross my mind, but I made a commitment earlier in the year and I want to honour that commitment,” he continued. “Talking to Kelley (his wife), I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids as well. If I was one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters champion play good or bad, just want to be there.
“I still intend to hopefully do the jacket double and take this one home. But it did cross my mind [to withdraw] and certainly I suppose it would have crossed anybody’s since I was so weary.
“But that’s why I chose to come in yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and take it easy and just give my body a break before I went into competitive mode. I can assure you that every time I tee it up in a tournament, it’s going to be to win. I aim to strive my utmost to win.
Scheffler satisfied with Augusta finish
Rahm was presented with the Green Jacket by Scottie Scheffler, who signed off his championship defence with another top-10 result and might climb back above the Spaniard as world No 1 this week.
“I definitely imagined myself putting on the jacket at the end of the week, but Jon (Rahm) is a very deserving champion,” Scheffler said. “For me, it was a good memory for the both of us. That was clearly a really meaningful time in his life, so I was delighted I was able to share it with him and put the jacket on.
“Obviously I would like the chairman be putting the jacket on me, but at the end of the day, when you get defeated, that’s the beauty of the game of golf. You take your hat off, shake hands, and are able to congratulate him. I believe I did a decent job putting the jacket on. It didn’t appear like he suffered too much, so it’s fine.”
Scheffler successfully defended his WM Phoenix Open title in February and competed in title defense at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, coming fourth in both, but the world No 2 acknowledges he wasn’t at his best during the first major of the year.
“I was kind of on the outside looking in, which was a bit frustrating, but I did my best,” Scheffler remarked. “It was simply a crazy week. I felt like I did a bunch of things extremely awful and I felt like I hit it really well the first two days. Outside of that, I felt like I didn’t do a lot of stuff I was really overly pleased with.