Top-ranked Jon Rahm is among the favorites at this week’s PGA Phoenix Open and the reigning US Open champion says a year-end break refreshed him and more could be coming.
Rahm, who finished in the top eight at all four majors last year, was runner-up at the Tournament of Champions last month in Hawaii and third two weeks ago at Torrey Pines, where he captured his first major title last June.
The Spaniard’s 2 1/2-month break at the end of last year has rejuvenated his game ahead of his start at TPC Scottsdale.
“One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was taking those 2 1/2 months off,” Rahm said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s something I do more often.
“To have some time to just be home and enjoy the time off is great. This is probably one of the reasons why I’ve started playing so good.
“Even though my game didn’t feel at its best, I feel like I’m refreshed enough. Call it competitive stamina. It’s high enough to where I can actually pull it through and finish strong.
“I’m playing good golf and hopefully starting this week things start clicking a little bit better.”
In six prior Phoenix starts, Rahm has not finished outside the top 16. The Spaniard went to college at nearby Arizona State and enjoys great fan support at the often-rowdy event.
“It’s always a week I look forward to,” Rahm said. Spent a lot of my time in Arizona. I have a lot of support this week. It’s a home week. It’s a special event. It’s an event like any other.
“Hopefully I add a first place this week.”
Even though Rahm says he fights for every place in every event, he accepts that he will only win so often.
“You can’t take every week you don’t win as a disappointment. If I’m finishing in the top 10, I can’t say it’s a bad week,” Rahm said