Hartford - Rising Spanish star Jon Rahm says Sergio Garcia's
emotion-fuelled Masters triumph has made him even more determined to land his
maiden major as he prepares for this week's US Open.
The big-hitting 22-year-old is one of the brightest talents
in golf, having climbed to 10th in the world rankings barely a year after
turning professional following a 23rd-place finish as an amateur at the 2016 US
Rahm, who opened 2017 with a superb win at the Farmers
Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, has since twice pushed world number one Dustin
Johnson to the brink at the WGC Mexico and Match Play events.
It is the sort of rise that prompted former US Open champion
Johnny Miller to remark that Rahm "has 'future world number one' written
all over his forehead."
Rahm believes that the intimidating layout at Erin Hills in
Wisconsin is perfectly suited to his game this week.
And he revealed that Garcia's dramatic playoff win over
Justin Rose at Augusta in April, his first major title after years of
near-misses, had motivated him to think big.
"It just motivates me. We've played together a bunch
this year. I've played against him in the match play. He's beat me many
times," Rahm said of Garcia.
"I've seen him play. And I see what he can do. And I
know what I'm capable of. It makes me believe that I do think I'll be able to
win a major someday.
"A close friend of mine winning a tournament motivates
me. A Spaniard winning a major is always going to motivate me."
Rahm, meanwhile, got a chance to look at Erin Hills, which
is staging the US Open for the first time, with a practice round on Monday.
The 7,741-yard, par-72 layout set in the countryside outside
Milwaukee will be the longest course in the history of major tournament golf.
"It's like a links golf course on steroids, everything
is a little bigger," Rahm said. "But I think it's US Open, they
expect our best."
Meanwhile, Rahm agreed with fellow golfer Kevin Na, who took
to social media on Sunday to complain about the length of the fescue rough across
the course, describing it as "unplayable."
Rahm said he had steered clear of the rough while surveying
the course on Monday.
"I didn't step in it. I'm like there's no need to
injure my wrist this week before I tee off," he said.
"It really looks very penalizing. It looks like a
30-yard chip out to the fairway. It doesn't look easy to move out of there. It
wouldn't surprise me if someone loses a ball, has to take an unplayable."