Jon Rahm looks to top a French Open field lacking many U.S. stars

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 15: Jon Rahm of Spain acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during Day Four of the Open de Espana at Centro Nacional de Golf on April 15, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jon Rahm looks to top a French Open field lacking many U.S. stars

Euro Tour

Jon Rahm looks to top a French Open field lacking many U.S. stars

PARIS – Jon Rahm received a huge surprise when he arrived in the Paris for this week’s $7 million HNA French Open. The World No. 5 was expecting to take on nearly half the U.S. Ryder Cup team to win the $1.16 million first-place prize.

He’ll only need to beat one. World No. 2 Justin Thomas is the only likely U.S. Ryder Cup team member here.

“I thought there would be more players from the American team,” Rahm said. “I thought there were going to be at least four or five. If it wasn’t the players that were already in guaranteed, maybe the people who are on the edge. I thought they were going to come to show their interest … show that they can compete on this golf course.

“Most of the Europeans that are going to play the Ryder Cup, if not all of them, have already played the course and they know the course. It is good for you to play this golf course as many times as you can.”

While Thomas will use this week to satisfy his curiosity about the course he’ll make his Ryder Cup debut on this September, Rahm is here trying to win his fourth European Tour event, and second of the year following the Spanish Open. He’ll do so following a poor U.S. Open performance.

The former Arizona State player missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills after a T-4 Masters finish. A change of attitude didn’t help.

“Because of what happened last year in the U.S. Open, I went with the mindset of I’m going to try to behave perfectly,” Rahm said. “It’s hard to go against who you are to be honest.”

Rahm had a few temper tantrums in missing last year’s U.S. Open cut at Erin Hills. He tried to be a good boy this year. He won’t make that mistake again. He’ll let his emotions show from now on.

“It is the last time I’m ever going to make the mistake of trying to be somebody I’m not,” Rahm said.

Where Rahm and Thomas finish this week is hardly an indicator of who’ll win the Ryder Cup, but it will be interesting to see how emotional Jon fares against curious Justin.

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