Sat. Oct 16th, 2021


“I’ll let the clubs and the ball do the talking and I’ll leave the speeches and the leadership to the guys that have been doing this for a long time,” says Jon Rahm as he bids to continue Spanish Ryder Cup legacy; watch live on Sky Sports Ryder Cup from 1pm on Friday

Last Updated: 23/09/21 6:11pm

World No 1 Jon Rahm explains why the Ryder Cup means so much to him and the pressure he feels in following a long line of Spanish players to represent Europe.

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World No 1 Jon Rahm explains why the Ryder Cup means so much to him and the pressure he feels in following a long line of Spanish players to represent Europe.

World No 1 Jon Rahm explains why the Ryder Cup means so much to him and the pressure he feels in following a long line of Spanish players to represent Europe.

As world No 1, Jon Rahm has been described as one of the leaders of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, but the Spaniard is happy to lead by example rather than with his words.

The 26-year-old, who won the US Open in June, is making only his second Ryder Cup appearance after his debut in Paris in 2018, where he narrowly lost his first two matches before beating Tiger Woods in the singles.

Rahm is now ready for the challenge of spearheading Europe’s defence of the trophy against the United States at Whistling Straits, but, as a relative novice, he is happy to do his talking on the course and leave the speeches to his more experienced team-mates.

“I’m ready [to make that step up],” he said. “It’s a challenge I look forward to. Obviously a lot of players in our team have a lot of experience and know how to get it done. I’m ready to add my name into that group.

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“We have plenty of players in the team that are vocal enough, that have done this enough that naturally you’ll gravitate towards for guidance. I’m not going to actively go and just make myself, ‘hey, I’m a leader now’, because I don’t have that massive an ego.

“In that case, hopefully like I’ve done so far this year, I’ll let the clubs and the ball do the talking and I’ll leave the speeches and the leadership to the guys that have been doing this for a long time.”

Rahm could feature in all five sessions for Europe

Rahm could feature in all five sessions for Europe

Rahm has been tipped to play in all five sessions for Europe and he says he is in good condition to undertake that heavy workload if required.

“I’m physically ready for it,” he said. “I know I don’t look like it but I train every day when I’m at home, believe it or not. I’m in really good shape. I have no problem walking 36. I feel like the biggest challenge in an event like this is possibly five rounds of the mental aspect of it, and that’s where I think you need to learn to really unwind quickly and get ready when you need to.

Ahead of this year's contest at Whistling Straits, Conor Moore shows off some of his impressions of the Ryder Cup stars in action.

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Ahead of this year’s contest at Whistling Straits, Conor Moore shows off some of his impressions of the Ryder Cup stars in action.

Ahead of this year’s contest at Whistling Straits, Conor Moore shows off some of his impressions of the Ryder Cup stars in action.

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“And I mean on the golf course, as well, you can’t be 100 per cent focused and locked in for five hours. That is mentally driving range. You have to learn how to switch off a little bit and have fun with your partner and then caddies and be ready to hit the shot in there.

“Also when you get to the team room after the round, practice round, whatever it is, everybody is having such a good time that that in itself is a great rest.”

Rahm also admits it is a privilege to be playing in the Ryder Cup as a Spaniard, following on from his legendary compatriots Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and his current team-mate Sergio Garcia.

Spanish Ryder Cup legends Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal

Spanish Ryder Cup legends Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal

Being part of the team is something he has targeted for a long time and he hopes to live up to expectations in this “unique” event.

“I don’t know exactly the age but it’s been on my radar a long time,” he said. “When you’re born in Spain, the Ryder Cup is something special. There’s a lot of legacy in this event between Seve and Ollie and the players got the most amount of Ryder Cup points for Team Europe in history.

“It’s a lot to live up to, I’m not going to lie. It’s a lot of expectation when you’re a Spaniard. But that just means – a lot of times we’re called a different word for passionate, but I think that’s when all these great emotions can be used in match play and that’s why in general people have done great.

“And so for a long time I’ve been looking forward to being a Ryder Cup player and it still is something you have in mind every day, especially while you’re approaching it. Obviously we have a lot of individual events going on, but when the topic comes up, it is something, you can’t explain it but it’s very unique.”

Who will win the 43rd Ryder Cup? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel. Live coverage of the Foursomes begins on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Ryder Cup.





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