Major win whets Rahm's appetite for Masters green jacket
Jon Rahm's victory at last year's US Open has deepened his desire for more major titles, especially a green jacket given the history of Spanish success at the Masters.
The 27-year-old wants to follow a legacy of Augusta National winners that includes fellow Spaniards Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and the late Seve Ballesteros.
"Hopefully I can be the fourth on that list," Rahm said. "There's a lot of good Spanish history here that I would love to add on to."
World number two Rahm feels the passion as he prepares for his sixth Masters appearance but first as a major champion.
"You definitely want to repeat it. They always say the first is the hardest. It's the beginning of what we want to accomplish," Rahm said Tuesday of winning majors.
"It's the satisfaction that you get from getting something like that done, especially the US Open being my breakout win, you definitely want to repeat it. You kind of want to add that to your repertoire."
Rahm said that a sense of relief followed his first major triumph last June at Torrey Pines more than a sense of achievement, ensuring he would never again be asked when he was going to win a Grand Slam event.
"Once it happened, I'm not going to lie, in my case, knowing that I was never going to be able to be put on the list of 'best to never win a major' was just a massive load off my shoulders," Rahm said. "It was more relief than happiness or anything else, at least at first.
"We were actually going to dinner, and everybody was celebrating, and I was just sitting in the chair like, OK, it's over. I don't have to hear that ever again because even at 26 I was hearing it every week. When are you going to win? Like winning a major is easy."
Looking back now, Rahm appreciates being the first Spanish player to win a US Open.
"Breaking through that barrier and getting it done, a lot of pride," he said. "I've always been more interested in history and legacy -- trying to put your name in the history of the game and knowing that it's going to be there forever."
Rahm was dethroned from atop the rankings two weeks ago by Scottie Scheffler when the American won the WGC Match Play crown. Rahm is among six Masters starters who could sit atop the rankings come Monday. He would need at least a top-six finish.
"This is the beauty of the game we live in now. Anyone can be number one," Rahm said. "I was able to be it for quite a bit. Hoping I can get it back."
Rahm is fancied by oddsmakers, for what it's worth.
"I couldn't care any less what the odds say," Rahm said. "I like to think I'm the favorite myself in my mind.
"I'm not worried about what the other players are doing. I'm just going out there to shoot the lowest score I can, and hopefully that's enough."