Rahm wants wins over consistency in 2022
Los Angeles (AFP) – World number one Jon Rahm says he would happily swap consistency for more victories as he opens his 2022 campaign at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this week.
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The Spaniard heads a star-studded field at the PGA Tour's calendar-year opening tournament in Maui following a dazzling 2021 campaign which included a maiden major victory at the US Open as well as PGA Player of the Year honors.
The 27-year-old also garnered the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award for scoring average, a reflection of a remarkable consistency which included no fewer than 15 top-10 finishes.
Rahm said Tuesday he hopes to improve on those standards this year -- but admits he would prefer to add to his collection of 13 professional wins where possible.
"My goal is always to do better each year," Rahm said.
"But I could tell you right now I would gladly take a bit more of inconsistency but have more than one win." Rahm meanwhile is unfazed by his status as world number one, saying he does not feel like a marked man with the likes of second-ranked Collin Morikawa and former world number one Dustin Johnson (3) both on his tail.
"I'm number one because of how I played in the past, so if I want to stay here I got to keep playing at the level and trying to get better," Rahm said.
"At the end of the day, I focus on myself, right? I try to improve my game and improve my level of golf.
"If I can do that and play the way I know I can play, everything else should take care of itself. I'm not thinking constantly, 'Oh, he's No. 2 or he's coming for me, I need to do this or that.' No, I'm trying to play the best that I can and hopefully win a tournament."
Rahm's 2021 also included a superb Ryder Cup campaign, where he was a rare bright spot in Europe's 19-9 drubbing with a 3-1-1 record, as well as his dramatic exit from the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, where he was forced to withdraw after three rounds while leading by six strokes after testing positive for Covid-19.
Off the course he also became a father for the first time, welcoming son Kepa with wife Kelley in April.
Rahm said Tuesday he had relished the chance to enjoy fatherhood during his offseason in Spain after a grueling year.
"As soon as I got back home I told (Kelley), 'I want to be more involved. I want to help out'. And for those two months I really, really, really enjoyed having to wake up a couple times a night and take care of my son.
"Be able to be there in the morning, give him a bath in the morning, feed him, give him a bath at night, just enjoy the simple things of parenthood and knowing that basically once he starts going to school I'm pretty much going to miss 50 percent of his life.
"I really wanted to cherish those moments."
© 2022 AFP