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Jon Rahm Gave a Passionate Defense of His Effort After Awkward Back-and-Forth With Reporter

After his second round at the RBC Heritage, Jon Rahm received a strange line of questioning from a reporter who wondered if the world No. 1 would consider taking “the weekend off”—or in other words, purposefully play poorly to miss the 36-hole cut. 

Rahm, who earned his second major championship victory at the Masters last week, responded to the awkward exchange with a strong defense of his relentless effort as one of the toughest competitors in the game. 

“Was there ever a thought that maybe you just take the weekend off?” the reporter asked. 

Rahm, seemingly taken aback by the question, clarified: “What, like throw it?”

“No, not throw it, but see what happens,” the reporter responded. 

The 28-year-old, still perplexed by the unusual question then replied, “I don’t understand what you mean right now.”

The reporter repeated the question once more, wondering why Rahm would grind to make the weekend at Harbour Town after his 2-over start on the first nine holes of the tournament. 

“You played poorly yesterday, and then you come out today and you're still tired. Why play good?" he asked. 

Rahm—who went on to shoot a bogey-free 64 to skyrocket up the leaderboard into the top 20—demonstrated the mindset of a both a major champion and a passionate role model with his response.

“It's my job, right? I mean, people—it's like I said in the press conference. People pay their hard earned money to watch me perform. It's my job to perform. They don't care if I slept good or bad, I feel good or bad. It doesn't matter. As a competitor, I'm not ducking anything in that sense. I'm going to go out and try to shoot low.

“Like I said Tuesday or Wednesday, my intention is to try my hardest, and that was it. You know, it helps when I start the way I did. Making that birdie on 11 and keep hitting good shots and hitting birdies, you get in a competitive mode very, very quickly. Early in the round I had it going and thought I could put myself in a good situation, which I did,” Rahm said. 

Earlier in the week at his pre-tournament press conference, Rahm was asked if he considered withdrawing from the Hilton Head event after his tiring week at Augusta National. 

Just as he did on Friday, the Spaniard explained why he prioritizes his promise to compete. 

“It did cross my mind. It did cross my mind, but I made a commitment earlier in the year, and I want to honor that commitment,” Rahm said of the possibility of a withdrawal. Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at the Masters, withdrew from the RBC Heritage on Monday.

“I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids as well. If I was one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters champion play good or bad, just want to be there.

“I still intend to hopefully do the jacket double and taking this one home. I'm not going to parade myself, right? But it did cross my mind, and obviously I think it would have crossed anybody's because I was so tired. But that's why I decided to come in yesterday afternoon and take it easier and just give my body a rest before I got into competition mode.”