The presentation for the ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid provided plenty of options for headlines, particularly during the press conference Jon Rahm held for the media accumulated at the event.
The Spaniard appeared happy about Team Europe’s Ryder Cup victory, relaxed after a well-earned break following the successful week in Rome and, above all, excited about what is to come this week as he bids for his fourth Open de España title, an achievement that would allow him to surpass his great idol:
“Breaking Severiano’s records is very special, even more so if we’re talking about doing it in Spain, in front of my home fans. Hopefully I can do it on Sunday, but already having three and having got them so quickly is something I value”.
This year’s ACCIONA Open de España will be a special one for many reasons, but one of them is that the opening day of the tournament falls on the 12th of October, a national holiday across Spain and a day off work or school for many. Therefore, attendance can be expected to be through the roof:
“I’m not sure if the parade will take spectators from us, but hopefully more people come than ever, that’s what we play for. It’s something that motivates me and at the same time adds pressure, because they want me to play well, and I want to play well for them. And although it’s always difficult to get used to for the first few holes, it’s something I really relish”.
The week of the ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid will always be circled in red on Jon Rahm’s yearly schedule. Since winning his first in 2018, he has always made the effort to play the event, which is clearly special to him: “This tournament is a non-negotiable for me, I will always be here as long as I am able, as well as at other special DP World Tour events like Wentworth and Dubai. But if I had to choose between those three at some point, I’m in no doubt that the Open de España is my priority”.
The Basque player arrives in Madrid after a dream season, the high points of which were the US Masters title and the aforementioned recent win at the Ryder Cup, a tournament that has been making headlines again in recent days, but Jon Rahm has a clear opinion on the remuneration controversy: “Valderrama 1997 was the start of the adventure that today finds me here. The Ryder Cup is a special event that cannot be associated with money, at least for me. I understand the complaints some may be making, but in my case, there is no need to pay me. I’ll play in this competition as many times as I qualify or I’m selected, which hopefully will be a lot. In fact, I hope not to retire without having achieved my dream of playing a Ryder Cup in Spain. I saw how the Italians were with the Molinaris, and I can’t imagine how crazy it would be playing it at home with the public behind me. I don’t think the 2031 edition has been designated yet, so hopefully that dream can come true”.
As if Rahm didn’t already have a big enough challenge ahead of him this week, he was also asked a hypothetical question about what he hopes to bring with him to the 2024 Open de España to match the 2021 US Open trophy and the Green Jacket from this season. “Another major would be incredible, and although any of the four would be great, I admit that the Open Championship is the most special for me, without forgetting the fact that I could be the first Spaniard to win the PGA Championship and complete the Grand Slam of Spanish golf, that would be a dream”.