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I feel like if that hadn’t happened at TPC, at Sawgrass on the 11th hole, things may not have been the same

Jon Rahm (ESP) celebration on the18th green during the final round of the DP World Championship, Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE. 24/11/2019 Picture: Golffile | Phil INGLIS All photo usage must carry mandatory copyright credit (© Golffile | Phil INGLIS)

Wow, what a year 2019 was.  I’m sitting here over the holidays, and just have time to reflect on what an amazing year 2019 was and, there were so many highs, and there was always a couple lows, but that’s in every year. I look back over the year and think of,  you know, there were some big points in the year where I feel like certain things happened that made Jon have the year that he had. And looking back on it, I knew he was playing well, he matured, not only as a golfer but as a man, and that showed here at the end of the year with him getting married, and he’s going to be an amazing husband, and father someday, I’m sure. 

But looking back over the year, he started off the year fantastic, played great, early. Had some chances to win, just didn’t quite put things together, which is kind of what you need to do to win in any situation. But you know, the big turning point in my opinion in the season, and a lot of people would look at it as a negative, was the 11th hole at TPC. You know? Everybody knows what happened there. Jon was playing great, and ultimately we just, as a team, we made a bad decision. It wasn’t his fault, it wasn’t my fault. I spoke my piece of my mind, what I thought, but Jon ultimately is the boss and, you know being, in my opinion, the best player in the world, he went with his gut and his feeling and hit the shot. And if that put a little bit of a doubt in his mind, by me speaking my part then, you know, then that’s what it is. But that’s what my job is, as a caddie was to kind of step up and voice my opinions in certain situations. Everybody knows what happened there, the result was the result. 

But, going forward from that, Jon and I believe you know, we both learned from that situation. And it made us grow stronger as a team and as, you know, going forward there were situations throughout the year, and every victory that Jon had, you know four here after that point in the season where I feel like if that hadn’t happened at TPC, at Sawgrass on the 11th hole, things may not have been the same because we both trusted each other. When there were times where he wanted to hit a shot, and there were times where I maybe said something. He had trust in me, and he knows that my only interest is his best interest, right? And, doing things together as a team that help us win. So, there were some very important things in every victory that Jon had. And even in some of his really good finishes at the US Open, at the Open Championship. Tough weather. There were just things that happen with every tournament, you know that, our trust with each other just kind of grew, and a lot of that, I think, stemmed from some tough times that you have sometimes in player-caddie relationships. 

So, that was one of the things that sticks out the most in my mind. A lot of people may look at that as a negative. But to me, I took a ton of positive from it, and I think the proof shows that Jon did as well, following it up with four victories and an incredibly consistent 2019 and, ultimately winning the race to Dubai and, giving himself chances throughout the year to accomplish that was just special, it was a really special 2019. I know that he can have better years, and he’s going to have better years than this year, but this is going to be a huge stepping stone in his career going forward and, I’m just excited to see what the future has, and just excited for 2020 and beyond. And I think that we are going to have some great opportunities in the majors, hopefully this year is the year where we clip off at least one, if not more victories in those tournaments. And if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, then in the years to come, it’s no doubt that Jon is going to win some majors. And who knows, the sky’s the limit with him. He is such a talented and an amazingly gifted golfer, athlete. It’s just really fun, and important and special to me to work for a guy like him, and seeing that, you know this is my 20th season caddying, and it’s been really a great, gradual climb, working for good player after good player, and having victories with each player that I’ve worked for. And then, you work for a guy like Jon, who in my opinion is a once-in-a-lifetime job. There are only so many players like Jon in the history of the game, and to have the opportunity to be able to work with him, and be part of his team is just really special.

So, that’s what I got for ya for 2019, and I look forward to giving updates throughout this next year to everybody back in Spain, and just appreciate all the support from the fans there. And I know they love Jon and see him as a superstar, and so do I. And I know he looks forward very much to representing Spain in the Olympics this year in Tokyo, and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for him to really shine in 2020 in all the great things that has coming up with the Olympics, Ryder Cup and the all the majors. So, anyway, look forward to 2020 and giving some of these updates to the Spanish fans and the Spanish media. So, hope everybody has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and 2020 is a great year for all. Thank you.