Jon Rahm: 'I owe a lot to Tiger Woods'

After clinching the Hero World Challenge, Jon Rahm spoke for long about Tiger Woods' influence on his life and golf.

Tiger Woods congratulations Hero World Challenge winner Jon Rahm on Sunday.   -  Special Arrangement

If there is one top-ranked golfer who adores Tiger Woods like no other, and can talk endlessly about it, that's Jon Rahm.

The Spaniard, from the age of seven, grew up watching videos of Tiger Woods. And this year turned out to be what dreams are made of. Rahm not only upstaged Tiger in their Ryder Cup match but also won the Hero World Challenge, hosted by the five-time champion. 

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In his moment of glory here on Sunday, Rahm spoke for long about Tiger’s influence on his life and golf.

Recalling the memorable win over Tiger and sharing what it meant to win here, Rahm said, “You know, that Sunday with Tiger is one of the most emotional, most important moments in my golf career. I started crying when I was shaking his hand because that meant so much to me to play against Tiger Woods. A couple months later to win his event, his foundation’s event, this is really special. I grew up watching all those events and watching Tiger win how many times in a row.”

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Elaborating on his Ryder Cup win, Rahm said, “Even though I won, I think he respects me a little more as a golfer just because of how I handled myself that day.  I learned a lot from that guy and I owe him. Every golfer on the PGA TOUR owes him a lot because everything we play for is because of him.”
 

"You know, that Sunday with Tiger is one of the most emotional, most important moments in my golf career. I started crying when I was shaking his hand because that meant so much to me to play against Tiger Woods. A couple months later to win his event, his foundation’s event, this is really special. "


Talking about how watching the greats influenced his play, the World No. 8 said, “I think I’ve seen every video on YouTube about Seve (Ballesteros) and Tiger.  Every shot that’s ever to be seen on the internet, I’ve probably seen it.   I enjoy watching all those things, it’s just great.

He continued, “If you ever see Kelley (Rahm’s fiancee), ask her because when we started dating I still did that.  She had no idea about golf and I would just get the laptop and just make her watch all the highlights of Tiger.  I’ve seen Tiger’s final round at Pebble in 2000 about 150 times.

“Again, I also use it as a learning curve because you can learn from all these great things that all these great players have done and use them for yourself," concluded the champion.