With the sporting world in shutdown due to the coronavirus crisis, Jon Rahm sat down with the PGA Tour editorial team to reflect on the life lessons he has learned from golf and offer a message for young people during this difficult period.
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This is not the time to be selfish. It’s very easy to think that you’re young and that nothing’s going to happen to you if you catch the virus. We have to think about society, everyone we have next to us. You may have no symptoms and yet still transmit the virus. And you don’t know how far it can go and who can get affected.
This comes from someone who arrived as a young age into the world of professional golf and had to learn quickly from his mistakes. There have been moments that were not my best, low moments when I had to take several steps back and regroup. I’ve been learning and I’ve been climbing to where I am now.
There are ups and downs all the time. I started from a very young age with the aim of being number one in the world and being among the best. There are times when you have no doubt and there are times when you think you are not going to get anywhere near it. It is what it is. You have to keep fighting and maintain your confidence.
Gradually you get used to the magnitude that everything we do can have a great positive or negative effect. It is for you to adapt and learn that you have a great platform to help people. And also know that there are many children who consider you their favourite player and that you can and should pass on good values to them.
For starters, win or lose, always do it with humility. You’re never going to see me end up angry after losing a tournament. The winner has played better than you and deserves it, that’s the first thing. In golf there is also a lot of integrity, ultimately, every time you do something wrong in golf, you apply penalties to yourself.
You also learn that, as with anything in life, there is a long process in which you have to work hard. You have to follow that process to improve as a person and at whatever you want to do. It’s not a consistent ascent. There are good times, bad times, very bad times and very good times. With experience and work, the good ones become even better, and the bad ones less bad.
Around a year ago, I had one of those less bad moments when I finished tied ninth in my third Masters. On two Sundays at Augusta, I’ve been kind of close to the lead, but not that close. Hopefully, the next time I will play well for three days, so on Sunday, I will have more options to win the tournament… and serve a good T-bone steak at the champions dinner, as did Ballesteros and Olazabal.
There was also one of those even better moments around this time last year, when I won the Zurich Classic in New Orleans along with Ryan Palmer. Ryan and I get along very well and there’s great chemistry. Our game is similar, we like to hit mostly fades and it was a week in which we both played very well.
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