Jon Rahm Reveals The One Tournament He Was 'Firing On All Cylinders'

The World No.1 has revealed a 2021 tournament caught him at his best - and it wasn't his US Open win that year

Jon Rahm talks to the media before the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational
John Rahm says his 2021 performance at The Memorial Tournament saw him at his best
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jon Rahm is arguably in the form of his career, with victory in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club the latest in a string of impressive performances that have helped him climb back to World No.1

The Spaniard is preparing for another bid for the top of the leaderboard in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, but he has revealed that, even though he has won in six of his last nine starts, it was in a 2021 tournament when he performed at his very best.

That, of course, was the year Rahm won his maiden Major, the US Open at Torrey Pines, but it was his performance in the Memorial Tournament two weeks earlier that pleased him the most – and he didn’t even complete it. He said: “The one time I can say I was firing on all cylinders I didn't get to finish the tournament. So I would have wished to see what that was like. “

Rahm held a six-shot lead in the tournament going into the final round, but his attempt to claim the title for the second successive year was curtailed by testing positive for Covid-19, which forced him to withdraw.

Rahm also revealed he'd spoken to Tiger Woods about his best PGA Tour performances, and that the 47-year-old had told him he only thought he'd played at his best a few times on the Tour. He said: “The thing is, you don't need to be firing on all cylinders to win. I actually had a conversation similar to this with Tiger. I asked him, out of the 82 wins on the PGA Tour, I didn't get into the other ones, how many times do you think you played your best all four days? And he said, three at most. Right? A lot of those Sundays he played his best, but the whole week, very few.”

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Rahm then revealed the reason players tend not to rate their performances too highly is because of the standards they expect of themselves. He said: ”A lot of us are such perfectionists that I think we play close to that A-plus game a lot, but we don't give ourselves that, quite that grade for all four days. I think a lot of us probably, you know, that's why probably Tiger said maybe just a few times in his career.”

Aside from Rahm’s aborted Memorial Tournament performance, he also cited his first PGA Tour win, in the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open, as another particularly strong performance – at least until he reached the greens.

He said: “The best I've had tee to green feeling-wise was 2017 at Torrey Pines. But I didn't have the week on the greens until the back nine on Sunday. There's weeks where you think, Oh, this part of my game is great, this other part was amazing. But for every part of your game to be a hundred percent all four days, yeah, that's nearly impossible to happen.

Despite struggling on the greens that week, Rahm still claimed victory by three shots. Given the rich vein of form he has been in in recent months, if all parts of his game come together this week, he is likely to dominate once again.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.