ASU senior golfer Jon Rahm had an excellent season last year, finishing third on the all-time NCAA season stroke average behind Stanford’s junior golfer Maverick McNealy and Wake Forest alumni Bill Haas.
He was also the first-team All-Pac-12 honors for the second year in a row and earned All-American honors last year as well after earning honorable mentions his first two seasons. He has a lot to live up to this year as the ASU golf team is expected to make some noise in the NCAA championship this season, but he took time over the summer away from the game.
“I took a week, almost a week and a half off, no clubs,” Rahm said.
The All-American golfer took some much needed time off from the game after going nearly the entire year playing the game as he was a quarterfinalist for the 2015 U.S. Amateur, which is an event that involves 64 of the top amateurs around the world competing against each other. He also competed in the Palmer Cup as well as the Spanish Amateur and the European Team Championship
Rahm competed at such a high level last year that it is incredible when you break down what he did. He won the NCAA San Diego Regional, the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the Bill Cullum Invitational and the Duck Invitational all last season.
Even though last year ASU didn’t win the championship, Rahm didn’t view the season as a failure.
“We had basically the best season since I’ve been here,” Rahm said. “It can’t be a failure. We got so much experience and we learned so much of ourselves.”
Head coach Tim Mickelson, who recruited the Spanish native to come to ASU, said he expects his team to produce like they always have.
“With the starting lineup returning and the addition of Jared du Toit, I anticipate a year similar to last year,” Mickelson said. “We can be dangerously good if and when we hit on all cylinders.”
Du Toit, a junior transfer from the University of Idaho, came to ASU not only for the success and the coaches but for the talent as well.
“Knowing that the team really didn’t lose any key guys is a real positive thing,” du Toit said.
The team expects to be right back in the mix for the NCAA championship. In order to make that a reality, Rahm will have to meet the goal he set for himself of continuing to improve everyday, even if that improvement is by .1 percent.
Rahm said his ultimate goal is to break legendary golfer and ASU alumni Phil Mickelson record of 16 wins in a career. At this moment, Rahm has seven but he has set his sights high.
“It would be great if I can go past that,” Rahm said. “Obviously winning 10 events is hard but that’s my goal. ... It might be ambitious or people might say it’s crazy, but that’s how far I’m going so far.”
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