The Open: 'This is truly the pinnacle of golf' – Rahm thrilled to play at St Andrews

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Competing for the Claret Jug at St Andrews is "truly the pinnacle of golf", according to world number three Jon Rahm.

Rahm is hunting his second major title, after winning the U.S. Open in 2021.

The Spaniard finished T3 at The Open Championship last year, four shots behind winner Collin Morikawa. However, he has failed to record a top-10 finish in any of the majors so far this year, and has recorded just one victory since his triumph in the U.S. Open.

Yet playing at St Andrews is reward enough for Rahm, who is thrilled to have the chance to play at the home of golf in the sport's oldest major, which is celebrating its 150th edition this year.

Echoing the sentiment of Rory McIlroy, who referred to the Claret Jug as golf's "holy grail", Rahm told reporters at St Andrews: "It's hard to put it into words, truly. I love this game so much, and I love the history of it so much.

"To be part of this edition and to have a chance to possibly win it, with everything that comes with it and how great of a venue this is, it's very unique.

"In my opinion, this is truly the pinnacle of golf. I don't think it gets any better than winning at St Andrews.

"No offence to any other tournament in the world. It's the oldest championship on the oldest course and where it all started.

"Especially when you get into the set up we have this week, nice and firm and rolling and tricked out as it can be, and it's a really fun one. I'm looking forward to it."

Asked why he ranks St Andrews above other famous courses, such as Augusta or Pebble Beach, Rahm explained: "History. It's as simple as that. History.

"I wouldn't say there's anything with the golf course itself, which is plenty special. I mean, I don't think there's many other courses where there's only five individual greens and all the shared fairways and all these blind spots and all these many different ways of playing it. It's just the history of the game and how much it means.

"I know The Open first started in Prestwick, but The R&A Club has been here, being part of the Scottish heritage that it is right now. The area on the 18th green, first tee, it's as unique as it gets. I've heard multiple champions say it.

"I think it was Jack [Nicklaus] and Tiger [Woods] both accomplished it. You can't really call yourself a great player unless you win The Open at St Andrews, which is a very selective group to say. I think it's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do know what they mean.

"It can almost put your career to another level just because how great of a venue this one is."

Rahm was T12 in the U.S. Open last month - marking his best performance in a major this year - and is confident he can learn from his experience at Brookline.

"You don't need to play perfect to win a championship. I was fighting my swing all week," Rahm said. "I still gave myself a chance. I think that's the biggest takeaway.

"If it wasn't something I already knew, it's something that is known outright. You have to post a score and find a way to do it. It's simple."

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