Nobody's perfect but No.1 Rahm close as PGA showdown looms
Top-ranked Jon Rahm is borrowing the philosophy of Arnold Palmer as he embarks on what he believes is a never-ending quest for golfing perfection.
The Spanish world number one heads to the PGA Championship chasing a third major title after his Masters triumph last month, happily accepting that his golf may never be perfect.
"That's almost a blessing in life, to know the work is not really done. It's never done. The search is ever ongoing," Rahm said.
"The path, I believe Arnie said, to success is always under construction and that couldn't be any more true."
That said, however, Rahm has built a record pile of prize money this year of $14.5 million, with his four victories including his Masters triumph.
He has already broken 2022 Masters winner Scottie Scheffler's old mark of $14 million with nearly four months of the campaign to come, including next week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
"Feeling good with the game where it's at right now," Rahm said. "I'm glad to be in good form this year."
Rahm won his first PGA Tour event of the year at the Tournament of Champions and followed up with another victory two weeks later in the California desert.
A month later, Rahm captured his third title of the year at Riviera, his sixth top-10 showing of the season, and followed up with his emotional win at Augusta National.
Rahm shared 15th the following week at the Heritage in a designated event but bounced back two weeks later to finish second in defending his Mexican Open title, losing to Tony Finau.
Rahm, who has won 11 career PGA titles and eight DP World Tour events, was forced to re-evaluate his season goals after his sizzling start to the year.
"I had to reassess them even before winning the Masters. One of my goals earlier in the year was to win multiple times again on the PGA Tour and I won my first two events," Rahm said.
"You need to reset because I was getting close to accomplishing everything I had set my mind to. If you have to reset or refresh your goals, it's an amazing thing because that means you're exceeding your expectations.
"So I did have a day with my mental coach where we talked about things and reassessed and refocused on what we wanted to accomplish in the year. Yeah, I had to do it, which again, it's a wonderful thing to do."
- Rest mind, body, soul -
Rahm said he pushed himself by playing two of the next three weeks after taking the green jacket, so he has taken a two-week break before the year's second major showdown.
"Need a bit of time off, just a little bit of rest," Rahm said. "Not too much, just mind, body and soul need it. It has been a lot of golf. And I haven't had time to really sit back and rest after the Masters."
Rahm skipped a designated event last week in Charlotte, the only miss allowed if he hopes to collect a full payout from last season's bonus pool.
"I wish I could have rested a little more, but it is the life we signed up for," Rahm said. "I probably didn't help, I celebrated the Masters win on Tuesday (after). That delayed the recovery a little bit."
But nothing has dimmed Rahm's resolve to deliver the best he can at events that matter most, and a victory at Oak Hill would leave him only the British Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
"We put in a lot of effort to try to beat the best guys in the world so maybe that level of intensity and that determination is why I'm characterized as a fighter," Rahm said.
"I'm also never going to give up."