Rising Spanish star Jon Rahm admits he was “deeply embarrassed” by his behaviour during the US Open and concedes he needs to keep his emotions in check in future.
Since turning professional less than a year ago, Rahm has claimed his first PGA Tour title and racked up a string of impressive performances, with his runners-up finish in the Dean and Deluca Invitational in May propelling him into the world’s top 10 for the first time.
However, the 22-year-old made headlines for the wrong reasons on his way to missing the cut in the US Open last month, throwing and kicking clubs, hurling a bunker rake and punching a tee marker in a petulant display at Erin Hills.
“I do like to feel my emotions,” Rahm said ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart, where he competed in the 2014 Amateur Championship.
“When I feel like I’m playing my best golf, you can still see I feel those. I like to experience it. That’s the way I play my best golf.
“But what happened at Erin Hills cannot happen again. I’m deeply embarrassed about what happened. I apologised to [playing partners] Rickie [Fowler] and Hideki [Matsuyama] about what I did.
“It’s really a constant battle of mine. My emotions get the best of me sometimes and when I think I have it under control, I stop the work and I go back, having a bad day like that. It really shouldn’t happen.
“It’s something I feel bad about. It really frustrates me to think about it, because the person that you see on TV doing that, that’s not the person who I am. I’m nothing like that.
“So if I want to have a good career and keep my image clean, I need to work on it day-in and day-out, no matter how good I’m doing.”
Rahm rebounded from missing the cut at Erin Hills with a tie for 10th on his regular European Tour debut in last week’s French Open at Le Golf National, venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.
“One of the huge goals of mine this year is to make it to East Lake, the final of the FedEx Cup,” the world number 11 added. “It will be a huge accomplishment. There’s not many rookies that make it.
“And if we’re talking long-time goals, I think number one priority is trying to make the Ryder Cup.”