Jon Rahm not putting too much pressure on himself ahead of WGC Match Play
World number one Jon Rahm found it impossible to hide his frustration after again facing questions about his putting ahead of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Rahm, whose position at the top of the rankings is again under threat at Austin Country Club, has not tasted victory since winning his maiden major title in the US Open at Torrey Pines last year.
The 27-year-old has hardly been struggling either, recording eight top-10 finishes and missing just two cuts in 15 events, although he was only 55th on his most recent start in the Players Championship after a closing 77.
Rahm ranks first on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained off the tee and greens in regulation, as well as fourth in strokes gained from tee to green, but a lowly 139th in strokes gained putting.
“I’m kind of getting tired of answering the same question every single week,” Rahm said in Austin, where he faces Sebastian Munoz, Cameron Young and Patrick Reed in group one.
“When you’re number one off the tee and top 10 in strokes gained approach, my putting stats are not going to be top 20. It’s absolutely impossible unless I’m winning every single week by eight (shots). Kind of how it goes.
“Is it (my putting) as good as it could be? No, but I think it shows in the stats worse than it actually feels just because I’m hitting so many greens and hitting it so good.
“Again, I feel like I’ve said it a few times. It’s not as bad as it looks. It feels a lot better than it looks. Maybe I haven’t gotten the results yet, but I’m not worried about it.”
The 64-man field at Austin Country Club is split into 16 groups of four, with only the group winners advancing to the knockout stages at the weekend.
The group stage was introduced in 2015 and ensured star players would be in action for at least three days rather than potentially crashing out.
Rahm is in favour of the original format and said last year it would have been unfair if his group rivals were gifted victories if he had to withdraw to attend the imminent birth of his first child. His son Kepa was subsequently born six days after the tournament ended.
Asked if he would like to see more events on the PGA Tour which are not traditional 72-hole strokeplay tournaments, Rahm added: “It would be fun to have more different options out there.
“I don’t know what it may be, but I think it would be fun to have a couple different ones just to change it up, not only for us, but for the spectators, as well.
“I think more dual events could be really fun. I think if it ever happened where you’ve got PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players together it could be really cool. Just legal things that could make the game a little bit better and grow the game out a little bit.”
England’s Matt Wallace moves into contention at halfway stage of Dutch Open
A second round of 67 at Bernardus Golf gave Wallace a halfway total of eight under par and left him two shots behind Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia.
Rory McIlroy sees last week’s US PGA Championship as ‘one that got away’
He held a one-shot lead after an opening five-under-par 65 at Southern Hills.
Justin Thomas switches focus to Texas after ‘unfathomable’ US PGA win
The former world number one won the championship for a second time on Sunday.
Matt Fitzpatrick: Falling short at US PGA Championship ‘hurts a hell of a lot’
Fitzpatrick carded a closing three-over-par 73 to miss out on the play-off between eventual winner Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris by two shots.
Justin Thomas pays tribute to caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay after his US PGA victory
Phil Mickelson’s former bagman gave Thomas a crucial pep talk after he shot 74 on Saturday.
Tommy Fleetwood confident he is ‘coming out the other side’ after dip in form
Fleetwood finished in a tie for fifth at the US PGA Championship.
Emotional Justin Thomas credits his experience for US PGA victory
Thomas also won the 2017 US PGA at Quail Hollow.
Justin Thomas eclipses Will Zalatoris in play-off to claim second US PGA title
The former world number one’s victory equalled the biggest comeback in US PGA history.
Rory McIlroy’s Sunday charge at US PGA Championship ends in disappointment
McIlroy’s closing 68 in Tulsa was followed by him declining to speak to waiting reporters.
Paul McGinley says Tiger Woods deserves better than to be a ‘ceremonial golfer’
The 46-year-old withdrew from a major championship for the first time in his professional career at Southern Hills.