MEMPHIS, Tenn. – It wasn’t exactly how Jon Rahm wanted to start his reign as world No. 1.
“I certainly didn't play like world No. 1 today so hopefully I can live up to it the next few rounds,” Rahm said following an even-par 70 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. “I'm sure if there were fans out here it would be a different feel to it, but not right now. No, it feels like any other day. It was so difficult out there that I had no time to be thinking of that.”
Rahm’s start as the world’s best player began well enough with a scrambling front nine that included 4-of-5 par saves, but his poor ball-striking caught up with him on his second nine. Despite three bogeys on his second nine, he salvaged his day with a birdie at the last.
The Spaniard, who won the Memorial two weeks ago to overtake Rory McIlroy as world No. 1, took some solace that he also struggled on Day 1 at the last World Golf Championship that was played in Mexico in February.
“Mexico's a clear example of what can happen, right? I was 4 over par going into my back nine on Friday and finished strong, shot 10 under the next day and got myself into contention,” said Rahm, who was tied for 29th in Mexico after Round 1 but finished tied for third. “So, it can happen.”