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Masters Champion Jon Rahm Expects to Be Nervous Early in the Week, Then All Business at Augusta

Rahm, the fourth Spaniard to win at Augusta, will host a dinner with personal flair that requires a speech. Then he'll get back to focusing on his work inside the ropes.

Jon Rahm began his Masters advance press conference laser-focused on his tie, looking in the camera on his computer while constantly fixing it and even apologizing for the fact it wasn’t tied very well. Saying that he rushed it was an understatement.

The gold tie was on a white shirt with his green jacket, so Rahm looked the part of a Masters champion. But he was also a bit nervous, particularly when talking about his Champions Dinner menu at the beginning of the call with national media.

It is a menu with true Basque flair, including local cheeses, wine, sausages, ham and other items made with specific family recipes.

Rahm seems to view his first Champions Dinner as if he has invited everyone to his home, adding a little bit of his heritage into the dinner and wanting to make sure everyone enjoys the evening.

Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates on the 18th green after winning the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Jon Rahm joined Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as Spanish champions at the Masters. 

The fourth Spaniard to wear the green jacket also must make a dinner speech, which he seems most nervous about. Where he's least stressful would appear to be inside the ropes, as he showed last year. 

“What other way to do it than finish it exactly like Seve would have wanted, hit it in the trees and getting up-and-down from 60 yards to make par,” Rahm said of his finish in Sunday’s final round. “That's about as Seve as it gets.”

Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia are the three other Spaniards in the Champions locker room. In joining that contingent, Rahm's approach to the week is one of nervousness, anxiety and excitement.

“I feel like my game is in really good position,” Rahm said. “I have not played my best yet. But I can see it every tournament, getting a little bit better and getting to a point where I like where I'm at coming up to the Masters.”

Rahm joked that the highlights of his Masters triumph included the four-putt on the 1st hole on Thursday and the bad drive at the 18th that wasn’t as bad as people think. But he wouldn’t mind making it a little easier on himself with a walk up the 18th knowing he can make a nine or 10 and win—or make a birdie to win as well.

“I'm looking forward to going out there and hopefully have been a great week,” Rahm said. “And hopefully having a great Sunday back nine showdown with some of those great players because at the end of the day it's what golf and spectators deserve.”

Rahm, as well as everyone else, knows that majors in the LIV era mean more. This Masters will mark the first time the two tours will play together since the British Open at Royal Liverpool last July.

With Scottie Scheffler retaining the top spot in the world with wins at Arnold Palmer and the Players and Rahm not able to defend his three 2023 titles on the PGA Tour, all eyes will be looking at a showdown between the two and more broadly how the LIV contingent will do after having three finish in the top 5 at Augusta last year.

“I feel like I don't need to be playing next to him to know what's going on,” Rahm said of Scheffler. “I think that's what's making this Masters and many other majors going to be so much fun, not only for me and for players but for spectators, is for all of us to be able to play together again and showcase what we're capable of.”

Rahm has not watched the final round of his win, nor has he been back to Augusta since the wee hours of the Monday morning after when he roamed the halls of the clubhouse with his father and wife Kelley.

Rahm called the early morning excursion—which included entering the champions locker room with them—one of his best experiences of the week.

He will finally return next week, saying he believes it would be difficult to try to defend and not have gone once before tournament week.

“I'm hoping I can come back and hopefully I can actually defend,” Rahm said. “That would be a dream come true. Not many back-to-back champions, and that would be very unique to be able to put my name to that list.”