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February 13, 2018

Should We Be Worried about Jon Rahm?

Since turning pro in June, 2016, Jon Rahm has risen to second in the world rankings. His play is aggressive and seemingly without fear. There is no doubt that he is there to win every tournament and not just collect a check. After winning the Career Builder Challenge in Palm Desert in January, Jon has faltered down the stretch in the last three events. In each of these tournaments a win would have ranked him the best player in the world. Is he choking or doesn't he have the "right" stuff? Should we be concerned?

Jon's playing style reminds me of Arnold Palmer. Arnold played to win and would take gambles that were at times ill-advised and risky. We remember the great come from behind victories, but there were also many failures. Arnold wouldn't be Arnold if he laid up and didn't give it everything he had. Jon has the same approach. We also have to remember that Jon is 23 years old and is still a long way from being a seasoned mature veteran golfer. He shows his intensity with his temper outbursts. He has been criticized for his display of emotion and that it hurts his game. I like the passion. I believe it is what will make him a great. Will he be able to control it? I certainly believe so. Many great players had temper issues when younger and learned to channel it in the right direction. Jon's displays are more competitive in nature.

I was able to personally watch Rahm play about six holes at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He played differently than his playing partners, which included Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker. He was playing golf with aggressive control. I didn't see anything in his mannerisms that suggested uncertainty. His playing partners were calculated and restrained. Rohm was "let it happen".

Rahm is the opposite of Rickie Fowler. Rickie had the 54 hole lead in Phoenix on a course that he had shot 70 or below 12 straight times. The tournament was his to win, but he played conservatively and non-aggressively. Rahm, playing with Rickie, attacked each hole. Rickie hit a lot of 3 woods and laid back. Rickie at times was 80 yards back of Rahm's drives. Watching both play, it appeared that only Rahm wanted to hit the shots necessary to win. I keep thinking Rickie has turned the corner and is ready of superstardom. He is such a good guy and with the talent to be a multiple major winner. However, this trait keeps showing up. He has won only four times on the PGA Tour with no majors. He should learn from Jon Rahm.

Should we be concerned about the recent poor finishes from Jon Rahm? No way! He is like a power hitter in major league baseball. He will hit a lot of homeruns, but with those mighty swings come the failures and strikeouts. However, I believe, there will be more homers than strikeouts for Jon Rahm.

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