Jon Rahm admits he is shaking off fatigue following his Masters victory as he prepares to return to the day job at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday.
The Spanish star won the second Major of his career after a weather-disrupted Masters that meant he was forced to play 30 holes on a marathon closing Sunday on his way to clinching the famous green jacket.
A weary Rahm said on Wednesday he had considered skipping this week’s tournament at Hilton Head Island but wanted to honour an earlier pledge to play in the event.
“It did cross my mind, but I made a commitment earlier in the year, and I want to honour that commitment,” Rahm said when asked if he had thought about withdrawing.
“I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids as well. If I was one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters champion play, good or bad.”
Rahm acknowledged, however, that he may struggle to hit the ground running as he grapples with the lingering after-effects of a mentally and physically draining Masters win.
The Spaniard revealed he had been inundated with congratulatory messages from well-wishers, including a voicemail from tennis icon and compatriot Rafael Nadal.
“The one I was thrilled to hear from, Rafael Nadal left me a very nice voice message,” Rahm said. “I’ve seen him do unbelievable things, and I’ve texted him every time. He left me a very nice message.”
The adrenaline of Sunday’s victory led to a poor night’s sleep but Rahm said he hopes to be firing on all cylinders by the weekend.
“I think it’s going to be opposite to most tournaments,” Rahm said. “I feel like I’m going to be feeling better every day.
“So I think it could be a little challenging early on, but if I can get through the first two days, I think on the weekend I’ll feel back to normal.
“It’s getting better every day. It was a very demanding week, a lot going on with the weather and a lot of fighting and a lot of work mentally obviously.
“So it’s going to take a little bit to get to a good spot, but I’m feeling good.”
Rahm, meanwhile, says he is already thinking about what he plans to put on his menu for next year’s Champions Dinner, one of the highlights of Masters week that is hosted by the defending champion.
“I think this is the part of the week that I’ve given the most amount of thought already,” Rahm said.
“Chef Jose Andres is a really good friend of mine, so I’ll be working with him. I also want to talk to Ollie [former Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal], because we’re from the same part of Spain, to see what he did in his dinner, see if I can go a different route.
“I think I have one of the appetisers down, which would be jambon, Spanish ham, the dessert, which I won’t be disclosing, and the wine. Everything in between is still up in the air.”
The RBC Heritage is one of the PGA Tour’s designated events, with a star-studded field vying for a $20-million purse.
Forty-one of the world’s top 50 players are in the field, although Rory McIlroy has withdrawn after missing the cut at Augusta.
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