“This is a special event for everyone who comes here and competes in the Masters. I would say there is so much history of Spanish champions here, with three great champions and idols of mine, that I would love to be able to add my name to that list,” said Rahm this Tuesday at a press conference, which coincided with his 26th birthday.
Although the coronavirus has changed the date of the dispute of the ‘major’ from spring to autumn, in this 2020 it will be 40 years “since the first of the two victories of ‘Seve’ in Augusta,” recalled Barrika. “Five green jackets have gone to Spain, I hope that, hopefully, it can be the sixth,” he confessed in relation to the triumphs of José María Olazabal in 1994 and 1999, and that of Sergio García in 2017.
In this sense, he had a heartfelt memory for the Spaniard, who will miss the appointment due to the coronavirus, which leaves him “a little sad.” “My heart goes out to him. I know he had some bad moments with COVID losing members of his family, and now he does. Knowing how special this week is for him, I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said.
Still, Rahm is faced with options. “I can’t lie, I feel pretty confident. Even in my last tournament, the ZoZo Championship, I hit the ball as well as I could from the tee to the green, especially on Sunday and the weekend.” , he stressed.
“I think the best way to explain it is that I’m just happy off the golf course, I’m happy within the limits now of this pandemic, and I’m happy on the course too. I’ve been working and playing golf well and hopefully , something special will happen this weekend, “he added.
Rahm is in the shortlist of favorites to don the traditional green jacket and for now, in addition to his state of form, he has shown it by making two holes in one shot during his training sessions. On Monday he did it in par 3 of 4 and this Tuesday he repeated it in par 3 of 16, with a sensational blow that bounced several times in the water before reaching the ‘green’ and falling directly into the hole.
The Basque, current world number two, already knows who he will play the first two rounds with at Augusta National. His teammates will be the American Bryson DeChambeau, winner of the US Open, and the South African Louis Oosthuizen, second in this ‘major’ in 2012. Rafa Cabrera-Bello will do it with the Canadian Mike Weir, champion in 2003, and the English Matt Wallace, and José María Olazabal with the American Andrew Putnam and the Irishman James Sugrue.