Jon Rahm’s savage yet truthful reaction with media after strong Tour Championship round

Jon Rahm’s savage yet truthful reaction with media after strong Tour Championship round

ATLANTA — Jon Rahm eviscerated East Lake Golf Club Friday, carding a 5-under 65 to launch up the leaderboard and into contention.

He is 12-under for the championship and now sits four shots behind Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland at the Tour Championship.

But after his round Friday, he made some interesting and rather blunt comments about the tournament, namely the large purse that the players compete for at East Lake.

“We’re not thinking if we miss a putt, how much it’s going to cost us money-wise. No chance. None whatsoever,” Rahm vehemently stated.

“You’re trying to finish as high as possible. You’re trying to win a tournament. It’s one of my pet peeves when [people] make this tournament all about money because I think it takes away from it.”

The 2023 Tour Championship purse is $75 million, with the winner taking home $18 million. Whoever finishes in last place among the 30-person field even receives $500,000.

Jon Rahm, PGA Tour, Tour Championship

Jon Rahm plays his tee shot on the 13th hole during the second round of the 2023 Tour Championship.
Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“That’s the beauty about this game, and I think that’s kind of how it should be,” Rahm added. “Obviously, I’m saying that being in an extremely privileged position financially. I mean, at that point, from first to second, you’re making a ton of money, so it’s more about winning than the prize itself.”

Rahm has never been afraid to express opinions candidly and truthfully. Whether it’s about the format of the tournament, LIV Golf, or even requesting more bathrooms on the course, Rahm never beats around the bush.

That is why so many people love him.

He speaks his mind.

He is also one of the most competitive athletes on the planet. He plays to win more than anything, especially at major championships.

“I can tell you right now that any major champion this year might not remember how much money they made,” he said.

Rahm raced past Brooks Koepka to win the 2023 Masters tournament, thus earning his first green jacket. He even said this win felt very ‘special’ and different than his 2021 U.S. Open victory.

Jon Rahm, PGA Tour, The Masters

Jon Rahm after holing the winning putt at the 2023 Masters.
Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

But even when Rahm was a younger tour professional, the Spaniard never played for financial success. He always played for the win.

“If you want to be a great player, you’re going to have to go for the win instead of thinking about your bank account,” he added. “In my first pro event, I was flag hunting on the last few holes. If I finished solo second, I would have earned my Tour card, and I think I finished tied for third. I ended up earning it a couple of weeks after that. But I was going for the win.”

The same motive applies this week, even though Rahm is not fond of the starting-strokes format of the Tour Championship.

“You’re thinking about winning, not everything else, right?” Rahm said. “So when you’re in contention with the best players in the world, I think it feels pretty much the same no matter what.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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