AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jon Rahm arrived at the Masters on Wednesday, after not sleeping much or touching a club for the past few days.
Such is life for a first-time father.
Rahm and his wife, Kelley, welcomed their son — Kepa Cahill Rahm — on Friday, and it’s been a predictable whirlwind ever since for the world’s No. 3 player. Rahm had said he would leave the Masters if that was when the baby decided to arrive.
The baby is healthy. Rahm’s wife is healthy. And now, Rahm is ready to go at Augusta National.
“Coming here later than usual, but I’m here ready to compete,” Rahm said. “I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
Most players have been at Augusta since Sunday or Monday at the latest. Many have found their way to the course in recent weeks for practice rounds. Rahm hasn’t, but he wondered if being in a different mindset could work to his advantage.
He said he's never been this happy. That can’t hurt.
“Maybe haven’t prepared as much as I have in the past, but definitely mentally in a different state, right?” Rahm said. “A lot of times practicing for a major, you spend so much time thinking about golf, and for four or five days, it wasn’t even on my mind — which is kind of refreshing.”
His plan for Wednesday was simple: some swings on the range, then trying to get on the course for at least a few holes.
“I mean, the course hasn’t changed,” Rahm said. “I might need to spend a little bit of extra time today hitting lag putts and hitting some chips because the last time we played here it was a little softer and slower, but tee to green it doesn’t really change much. Luckily, I’ve played here before, and I always have a good vibe when I come here.”
Rahm has played the Masters four previous times and has three top-10 finishes. Rory McIlroy couldn't resist throwing down what seemed like a bit of a challenge earlier this week.
“My first round as a dad, I shot 64," McIlroy said to laughter. “So he’s got that to live up to."