USA TODAY Sports’ Steve DiMeglio breaks down the top headlines to watch for at the 2017 Masters.
USA TODAY Sports
Jon Rahm is a quick study.
Barely able to speak English when he left Spain for Arizona State University in 2012, he quickly overcame the language barrier, helped along the way by memorizing rap songs, and graduated with a degree in communications four years later.
His golf IQ has been steadily rising, too. After becoming the only two-time winner of the Ben Hogan Award as the country’s best collegiate golfer, he began his professional career at the 2016 Quicken Loans National one week after he was the low amateur in the U.S. Open. Ranked 551st in the world, Rahm took to the pro ranks nicely with a tie for third and then tied for second in the RBC Canadian Open a month later. After 10 pro starts, he ended the year ranked 137th.
Now he’s ranked 14th and is a threat to win every week, including the Shell Houston Open starting Thursday.
In his last five starts, he won the Farmers Insurance Open, tied for 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, tied for fifth in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, tied for third in the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, and lost in the final to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson in last week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
After losing to Rahm in the semifinals last week, Bill Haas said, “I don’t think a single player out here would argue that he’s one of the top five, top 10 players in the world.”
But Rahm knows he’s still dealing with a learning curve. While his compact yet powerful swing is technically sound, and his short game and putter are solid, he quickly becomes frustrated and agitated when things go wrong on the course, which was evident on the front nine in his…