Jon Rahm was in a confident mood like many of his rivals at Augusta National on last night. However, he admitted that Rory McIlroy might be primed for Masters glory.
As with several other players who faced the media ahead of the first major in 2019, Rahm was keen to talk up his own chances, suggesting he could improve on last year's fourth-place finish.
But when he was asked who he would place $1,000 on to win at Augusta, the two-time PGA Tour winner conceded that McIlroy, who is chasing a career Grand Slam, would be a good bet.
"Who am I going to say besides me, really? I like to bet on myself," Rahm said. "But that's me just being confident. It's tough to choose in a sport like golf, especially in this event."
Rahm's top-five finish in last year's event matches a career best at any major. In 2019, he finished in a tie for fourth at the PGA Championship.
He's also recorded six top-10 finishes this season. Despite Rahm's success, he was quick to offer praise to the Irish professional.
"Rory is playing unbelievable golf. He's playing the best golf he's played in a long time," Rahm said. "I think he's one of the only ones to have more top-10s than I do this year — including the win at The Players Championship. It's really good golf and it seems like his putting has been a lot better. If Rory is hitting the ball the way he is, and he putts good, he's tough to beat.
"It's hard to bet. If I had to put all of it on one person that's not myself, I'd probably go with Rory," Rahm added. "This is who I see right now playing the best and somebody who fits really well at this golf course."
Rahm will play the first two rounds alongside Tiger Woods and Haotong Li after being drawn in Group 14 on Tuesday.
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