Jon Rahm: Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas should be Ryder Cuppers in Rome
As the European Ryder Cup team prepares for a likely influx of new blood, Jon Rahm is still backing his fellow countryman Sergio Garcia for a captain’s pick.
The 43-year-old Garcia, a 10-time Ryder Cupper and record holder for career match wins (25), is one of five members of the 2021 European team who have since joined LIV Golf – Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are two others – and put their future Ryder Cup status in doubt. But Rahm, speaking recently on the Golf Sin Etiquetas podcast, says there’s only one LIV player he’d pick if he were this year’s captain, Luke Donald, and that’s Garcia, whom he teamed with at Whistling Straits to go 3-0.
“With all the respect for European players, the only one from LIV that I would choose for the Ryder Cup would be Sergio,” Rahm said, as translated by the Twitter account @Handicap54. “Even if he was missing a leg.”
With Garcia’s inclusion still rather unlikely, Rahm added that Donald has already brought before him three potential partnerships for next month’s matches at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. Rahm initially declined to reveal those names, though he later confirmed that one of his options is Tyrrell Hatton, whom Rahm teamed up with in four-balls two years ago with the pair producing a half-point.
“He had started well and then, I think between the 12th and 13th, I had to say, “I’m going to call you Tyrrell, with the American accent – I know he doesn’t like it at all – until you make a f---ing birdie. And he didn’t talk to me anymore. Then, he almost birdied 17 and birdied 18. So, it was well.”
Rahm said he requires a partner “who understands how I go on the golf course, with a certain grit and some intensity. It has to be someone who is willing to have the same energy level as me, like I did with Sergio.”
But if Garcia does not end up as a surprising addition to the 12-man European side, perhaps another Spaniard could attempt to fill Garcia’s role at Rahm’s partner?
“I have told Luke that we have Pablo Larrazabal, who has won two times on the DP World Tour, and if you need for someone to make a 2-meter putt to win on the 18th hole, Pablo has the balls to make that. You have someone who knows how to win when he’s in that position.”
Garcia also touched on the U.S. team, which is in a little bit of a predicament as it relates to one of its stars, Justin Thomas, who is struggling at the moment and appears questionable to make Zach Johnson’s squad.
“If I am Zach Johnson, I would choose Justin Thomas, without a doubt,” Rahm said. “It is the same case as Sergio in 2018.”