Jon Rahm seeking first LIV crown at home in Spain

Jon Rahm returns to his native Spain this week to chase his elusive first individual title since joining LIV Golf last December.

The 29-year-old captain of Legion XIII addressed his drought and recent struggles — including a missed cut at the Masters and an injury withdrawal from the U.S. Open — on Wednesday in Sotogrande, Spain, where the LIV Golf Andalucia event at Real Club Valderrama begins Friday.

“It’s very exciting and if there was ever a place to get my first win … this would be the perfect week, and it is an iconic golf course, has a lot of history,” Rahm said. “And it would be great to enjoy the incredible list of Spanish champions that have performed well and become one of them.”

Rahm ranks second behind Joaquin Niemann in the LIV points standings despite his winless status. He tied for third last month at LIV Golf Nashville for his third T3 of the season (Mayakoba and Adelaide).

“If it’s the week to do it, the week we are playing would be the best,” he said. “The fact that we are in Spain, home crowd, home week, yeah, that makes it that much more meaningful.”

Rahm is well-versed in the history at the Robert Trent Jones-designed Valderrama, site of the Europeans’ victory at the 1997 Ryder Cup and host of the WGC-American Express Championship in 1999 and 2000. He knows he doesn’t have to go too low to be in contention on the 7,010-yard, par-71 loop.

“Just the tradition of how difficult a test it is, is what makes it so unique, right,” he said. “Very rarely do we see a tournament where if you shoot even par, you’re 99.9 percent guaranteed a top-10 and in many years you win. It’s very refreshing to see something like that.”

Talor Gooch won last year’s Andalucia event at 12-under and 13 players finished under par.

Rahm, whose most recent victory was at the 2023 Masters, was asked to rate his game on a scale from 1 to 10.

“Hard to say,” he said. “There’s been weeks where I feel like I scored a lot better than I felt, and there’s been a couple weeks where it could have been better. Haven’t won yet so that would deduct quite a bit from it.

“I would say maybe 6 to a 7 out of 10 if I had to say. But the year is not over. Still a lot to play for. It would not be unheard of to see a player finish strong and change that to maybe a 9 out of 10. So far just because I haven’t won, I can’t give it more than a 7.”

–Field Level Media