Ehe summer punishes hard in the countryside of Gibraltar and the views from the Altos de Valderrama, where the golf club of the most illustrious members of the South of Spain stands – the latest to join was the German two-time Major winner, Martin Kaymer -, they are formidable. For the second year, the creation of Jaime Ortiz Patiño hosts one of the 14 stages of the LIV Golf, the circuit that still applauds Bryson DeChambeau’s victory in the US Open, the last of the greats contested and that, in the fight they maintain with The PGA Tour, stuck in some office, negotiations coming and going like Newton’s pendulum, is still a metaphor for the Boxing World Cups. The last one who triumphed is the one with the belt.

There, Jon Rahm, the big signing of the season, but who has not yet made his debut and the drought of victories goes back. until the Augusta Masters, in April 2023, he transmits “an almost childlike happiness” when he addresses journalists on Wednesday morning. The one from Barrika has played eight tournaments – he withdrew from the Houston tournament due to a problem with his left foot – and in all of them he finished in the top ten. That’s why he gets “a six or a seven”, but he has lacked a victory, “although if there is a week to win it is this one. Because it is the home tournament, there are family, friends and because you see the list of champions in Valderrama and it is fabulous,” he remembers.

It is an intense phase of the season for the double major winner. To Valderrama will be added, in continuous session, the British Open next week in Troon, the British stop of the LIV in Rocester and the Olympic Games at the Golf National, which brings back so many memories of the victory in the 2018 Ryder Cup. They are four goals in his head, but if he could only win one, “I would say the claret jug, so I could inscribe my name next to Seve’s.”

However, the Cádiz countryside is not a stage for great performances So far, one of the two courses (along with Colonial) where he has not made the cut twice in his career. “But this was in October and I arrived very tired in the season. The opposite is happening to me than last year: I started very well, but in the second part of the season I began to lower my level. I have confidence in myself, and I am very comfortable where I am and looking forward to competing in what is probably the best course in Spain.” He then added that “you know how it is in golf, there is one day, one swing, something that changes everything and you start a good streak.”

In addition, Jon announced that his desire is to complete the Spanish triptych by playing the Spanish Open and the Estrella Damm in Sotogrande, although it will depend on the birth of his daughter, which is scheduled for mid-October. At the moment he is enjoying Valderrama and two very special companions in Thursday’s Proam: Pau Gasol and a childhood idol from Barrika, Athletic’s historic scorer Aritz Aduriz.

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