Sunday, March 26, 2017

Seve would have been proud of Jon Rahm,

heading for World Top 10 in next to no time

AUSTIN, Texas – Notes and observations from Saturday’s fourth and fifth rounds of the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play, where the final four (Jon Rahm v Bill Haas and Dustin Johnson v Hideto Tanihara) was decided to set up a huge Sunday in Austin.
For more coverage from Austin Country Club, click here for the Daily Wrap-up.

  JON RAHM will move into World Top 10 if he wins the current tournament.


Jon Rahm, pictured above, has never been afraid to visualise his own success – but even he has been taken aback by the dominance in which he’s surged into the semi-finals of the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play.
The 22-year-old Spanish star has yet to see the 18th hole in any of his five matches, needing just 73 holes on his way to a 5-0 record.
After dismantling Charles Howell III 6 and 4 in the round of 16, the Farmers Insurance Open winner then backed up with a 7 and 5 demolition of Soren Kjeldsen on Saturday. It came off the back of beating countryman Sergio Garcia 6 and 4 on Friday.
“The golf I've played the last three matches really has been very impressive even to myself, and it seemed to get better as I played, which is something that doesn't happen often,” Rahm said.
“I felt my confidence was growing. The first few matches my putter let me down, but I was hitting the ball great. Today my putter was rolling. I think that's one of the main reasons why I was able to do it the way I did it today.”
Rahm has long been a star on the rise – as a former world No.1 amateur his talents were clear – but his ability to bring it to the big show so seamlessly while still so young has been impressive.
First up Sunday is a date with Bill Haas. A win would see him face off against either Dustin Johnson or Hideto Tanihara.
If he can win the tournament he will jump inside the top-10 of the official world golf rankings and he’s set to move to 4th in the FedExCup regardless of Sunday’s outcomes.
His ability to stay mentally strong has impressed plenty on the US Tour.
“He's playing great golf. Not just this week. I don't think a single player out here would argue that he's one of the top five, top ten players in the world,” Haas said.

“He's hungry, he wants more. He wants a major. You can just see it in him. He's got that thing about him that's going to make him a big-time winner out here, and hopefully I can hang with him.”

Rahm is not shying away from the rapid rise and prides himself on his mental game.
“My expectations are usually really high but once I come to tournaments, I forget about it. I'm here to play golf and play day-by-day. I really play to win. I compete to win. And my mindset is winning,” he said.
“I really do my mental work before. And once I get to tournaments I just focus on what I have to do, stick to my routine, breakfast, warm up, hit balls, and think about it each shot at a time.
“I'm a believer the better my life is outside my golf environment, family, friends, anything, the better I'm going to be able to play golf. And that's where I do a lot of work. It's getting mentally ready and not getting hung up in wanting to win. Every day waking up motivated to practice hard and be aware that if I play good I'm going to have a chance.”
The "new" Seve Ballesteros? No doubt about it. Seve would be proud of him!



When Bill Haas felt his swing was a little off leading into the Dell Technologies Match Play he only had one thought – call Dad.
And it has paid dividends.
Jay Haas, his nine-time US PGA Tour and 18-time US Senior-winning father, was of course happy to help.
The pair worked together on the range at Austin Country Club on Tuesday and Wednesday and the result has seen Bill reach the semi-finals for the first time in seven attempts of the event.
“I asked him to come. I haven't been really fighting my swing terribly, but it's never great. We're always working on it. And he was out west and on his way home I just asked him to stop in,” the former FedExCup champion Bill revealed.

“We tried something on Tuesday. Tried something else on Wednesday. And I'm kind of going with one of the things that we talked about. And it feels pretty good. I give him all the credit in the world. He's the guy I bounce ideas off golf swing-wise all the time. And the only reason I play golf is because of him. He's a great guy to have in my corner.

“I'm still hitting foul balls to the right - I get underneath the ball. I'm just trying to cover the ball a little bit better. It's always a grind. It's always a fight to get better. But overall so far this week it's been mostly good.”


Phil Mickelson missed a golden opportunity to break his win drought of nearly four years with a quarterfinal loss to Bill Haas but the 46-year-old is rounding into form as he heads to the Shell Houston Open and Masters tournament.
Mickelson was hardly troubled in impressive wins over Si Woo Kim, Daniel Berger, J.B. Holmes and Marc Leishman before Haas ended his run, showing his game is still capable of mixing it with anyone.
Against Haas his putter just wasn’t sharp enough as he missed some critical chances – something he will look to rectify in Houston.
The close call in Austin has him craving more time in the mix at the top of leaderboards.
“I feel as though the way I'm playing I'd like to get myself in contention (at the Houston Open),” he said.
“I'd like to give myself an opportunity to win and compete because I think that's the best way for me to be my sharpest and be at my best for the Masters.”





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