The Masters: Sleep-deprived new father Rahm eyes green jacket

By Sports Desk April 07, 2021

A sleep-deprived Jon Rahm is confident he can mount a strong challenge for a first major title following the "major life experience" of becoming a father last weekend.

The world number three will tee off at Augusta on Thursday just five days after his wife, Kelley, gave birth to baby Kepa.

Doting new dad Rahm has been relieved of diaper-changing duties to make the trip to Georgia for the first major of the year.

Rahm is among the favourites to don the green jacket on Sunday and, despite only arriving on the eve of the tournament, the Spaniard fancies his chances of celebrating his new arrival by experiencing his finest hour on a golf course.

"My concern is that I'm coming to a Masters, and from Thursday to Monday didn't sleep much, didn't hit a single golf shot," he said.

"You know, maybe I haven't prepared as much as I have in the past, but definitely I'm mentally in a different state.

"A lot of times practicing for a major you spend so much time thinking about golf, and for four or five days, it wasn't even on my mind, which is kind of refreshing.

"Coming here later than usual, but I'm here ready to compete. I wouldn't be here otherwise."

He added: "I'm not concerned. I went through a major life experience. If anything I'm just happier. I'm thankful to be here. If anything, definitely a different mental state, but I would say it's a better mental state."

Rahm revealed he had not been to Augusta since he finished in a tie for seventh in the Masters last November, but says that will not be an issue.

He said: "The course hasn't changed. I might need to spend a little bit of extra time today hitting lag putts and hitting some chips because the last time we played here it was a little softer and slower, but tee to green it doesn't really change much.

"Luckily I've played here before, and I always have a good vibe when I come here."

Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele will tee off for their first round at 10:42 local time.

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    "I just tried to stay patient, and I felt when I somehow got myself in the play-off it was time to get after it and get it done.

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