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(Reuters) – For all his success, Jon Rahm has but to efficiently defend a title on the PGA Tour however the Spaniard can change that at this week’s Mexico Open the place he can be a red-hot favorite in his second begin since profitable the Masters.
World primary Rahm has already gained 4 instances on the PGA Tour this season and a win at Vidanta Vallarta this week would make him the primary participant to win 5 instances in a season since Justin Thomas achieved the feat in 2017.
“Clearly I might love for this to be one thing I am doing in Spain proper now this near the Masters, however that is the following closest factor,” Rahm instructed reporters on Wednesday.
“The Mexican crowd, the Mexican folks have all accepted me not as one among their very own however such as you simply talked about as an Hispanic taking part in golf because the champion on the Masters, they’ve taken me in very, very nicely.”
Rahm has made six prior begins because the defending champion on the PGA Tour and his finest lead to these title defences got here at La Quinta in 2019 when he completed in sixth place.
Finally yr’s Mexico Open, Rahm pulled out of a four-way tie in the course of the closing spherical with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th gap and held on for a one-shot victory over Tony Finau, Brandon Wu and Kurt Kitayama.
“To have the ability to come right here and go wire to wire, take the lead on Thursday and by no means give it up and by no means actually be trailing from that time on was large,” mentioned Rahm.
“To get it completed in any Spanish-speaking nation makes it much more particular, there’s all the time somewhat bit of additional stress, further motivation for me to wish to win.”
In 11 PGA Tour occasions this season, Rahm has 4 wins, seven top-10 finishes and nil missed cuts.
Rahm has not had a lot downtime because the Masters as he teed it up the next week at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina the place he completed in a share of fifteenth place however feels good concerning the state of his sport nonetheless.
“Taking part in Hilton Head helped getting in a aggressive mode proper afterwards. I believe in a bizarre sense it did assist, so I am glad I went. It was a whole lot of enjoyable, performed good golf,” mentioned Rahm.
“Feeling good with the sport the place it is at proper now.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Enhancing by Toby Davis)