"Long live Seve!"
It was what Jon Rahm lacked so that the moment was as intense as possible. He had a one-meter putt on the 17th hole to win his match, beat Tiger Woods and score his first point for Europe in his debut at the Ryder with 23 years. And just when he was going to hit, an amateur mentioned his idol. The emotion was irrepressible. When Rahm saw the ball enter, all those feelings overflowed. He celebrated without keeping anything inside. So effusive that he had to apologize to Tiger for not having complied with the label and shaking his hand beforehand. "Congratulations. You have played very well, you deserve it, "he congratulated El Tigre, the image of the defeat of the United States after losing its four games in Paris. "I told him that it was an honor to play with him and I started crying," Rahm admitted.
"Winning that point has been a rash of emotions," Rahm continued. So demanding with himself, the Basque felt that he had let the team down by losing the first two games of fourballs, with Justin Rose on Friday and with Ian Poulter on Saturday. Olazabal had to intervene to calm him down and make him see that the world was not over, that he would soon have another opportunity, that the important thing was the final victory. Rahm processed it, but inside he knew there was only one answer: win. When he learned on Saturday afternoon that he would play against Tiger Woods, everything fit. "I felt fear, nerves and joy," he explained. He spoke with Sergio García, with Thomas Björn, with Tommy Fleetwood and with his mental trainer, Joseba Del Carmen. I knew it was his moment.
"I was very mentally prepared to play against Tiger. It was written for me to be able to enjoy this Sunday to the fullest. I realized that it was my destiny to play against him, it was my destiny to gain a vital point, and it was my destiny to win with that cry from Seve, knowing what it means to me … I had to do it for Seve, for the team, for my aitite [su abuelo Sabin], who died a month ago and who will now be hugging Seve … "
Rahm had asked the captain, Björn, to play in the top five of the day, although not the first. "I told him I was going to win my point, that I put myself up there that I was going to win," the Basque said in the middle of the celebrations. It was a sign of bravery in one of the five rookies of Europe in this edition. And more when faced was Tiger, the champion who already saw win when he was a child. "Playing with Woods intimidates. His name alone is already intimidated. And I knew I had to win, my point was going to be vital. It was the biggest challenge I would have as a golfer and I'm glad I complied. It has been the most special day of my sports career. "
Olazabal says he never learned anything as valuable as in his first Ryder: listen to the elders, always sit at the voice of the experience. Olazabal never forgot him during his career. Whenever he had the opportunity, he would approach the most veterans. For Rahm this Ryder can also be a before and after. If you internalize learning, you will have left Paris as a golfer much better.
All the results of the Ryder Cup.