By Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent
US Open champion Jon Rahm has revealed the circumstances behind the “very stupid” celebrations following his first major victory last month.
Rahm birdied the last two holes at Torrey Pines to become the first Spanish player to win the title, his triumph coming just 15 days after he tested positive for Covid-19 and had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament despite holding a six-shot lead after 54 holes.
The world number one’s celebrations went viral after video footage emerged of him drinking from the trophy before smashing a glow-in-the dark ball from a patio into the night sky and departing with arm raised in triumph.
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 25, 2021
“That’s what happens at Silverleaf Country Club late at night when you put a group of friends that has been together for a very long time at a club with very little rules to follow and an owner that is celebrating harder than anyone else,” Rahm explained ahead of his abrdn Scottish Open debut this week.
“I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to find glow-in-the-dark balls, but from then it didn’t take too much to come up with something very stupid.
“You saw me hitting the shot, you didn’t see the many people that shouldn’t have even tried to hit the shot – that’s the even more fun part.
“That was the first time I’ve hit a shot in the dark with a glow-in-the-dark ball and it made for a lot of fun. Granted, I think at that stage of the night anything would have been a good idea.
“For all the people wondering, I was hitting it out of a tee. I did not want to break my hand doing something that stupid.”
Having contracted Covid-19 and also been vaccinated, Rahm will not be subject to any restrictions going forward on the PGA Tour, but is having to abide by strict protocols at The Renaissance Club and at Royal St George’s for next week’s Open Championship.
But although he feels restrictions on family members are “a little too much”, the 26-year-old will not be complaining too loudly as he bids to claim back-to-back major titles.
“It is what it is,” Rahm added. “You can argue or complain as much as you want, it’s not going to change. I feel like a lot of the family restrictions, let’s say each player’s team restrictions, it’s a little too much.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 7, 2021
“But I understand why they want us to stay at home and why they want us to keep the players as safe as possible.
“It doesn’t change my mind that much. Usually in a major championship I’ll be in a house and go to the golf course and come back to the house.
“I’m not going out sightseeing or anything else. In that sense, it hasn’t changed.
“But if you have your significant others or want family to be here, it is more difficult and in that sense it does get a little harder. But again, it’s the rules they put up and we just have to deal with it and follow them.”