Desert Classic

Monday, December 3, 2018

Pat McCabe

Jeff Sanders

Jon Rahm

Media Day Press Conference

PAT McCABE: I know it's Monday, but good morning. How's everyone doing this morning? My name is Pat McCabe, the tournament director of the Desert Classic. First and foremost, on behalf of all of us at Lagardere Sports, Desert Classic Charities and the tournament, we're just so honored to have you all here. This is a heck of a turnout, where about a year ago, we had our media day come back, we had about half the amount of people. Thank you all for -- let's give ourselves a round of applause for a great turnout this morning.

To get things going, I would like to introduce the tournament's executive director, president of Lagardere Sports golf events, LaQuinta native Mr. Jeff Sanders. Jeff?

JEFF SANDERS: Thank you, Pat, and good morning, everybody. It's exciting to be back here at PGA West and LaQuinta, where I do live part of the year and love every moment of it. This is such a great place. We are so lucky to be able to play this golf tournament here on wonderful golf courses, amazing venue, great weather. It's just -- I've told people for so many years, I've said, this is always my favorite place to play golf and put on a golf tournament, which we've been doing for a long time, and we're just so lucky to be here.

Again, great turnout. Thank you. We have 80 golfers today. I think last year we had about 50, so that's a nice increase. Kind of goes with our ticket sales right now, which are double over the prior year. Everything is going well.

A big thank you to everybody in the room today. You're all of our partners. We're all partners here. Our goal is to drive as many dollars as possible to the children's charities in the Coachella Valley. That's our goal every year. Stage a first class tournament, no question about that, have a lot of fun, throw a great party, but at the end of the day, we've got to raise a lot of money for the kids. So your support in the media here helps us do that, and so thank you very, very much for that. It's absolutely our top priority.

With us today is the mayor of LaQuinta. I want to introduce Mayor Linda Evans. Linda, thank you for being here. Linda's support has been unbelievably fantastic. I tell her whenever I see her, we're home. We're home. It's nice to be here at LaQuinta where we host the tournament every year. As we know, this is our 60th anniversary, and there's a lot of history here, a lot of storied history here.

This year we're going to honor the history's new name: The Desert Classic. Does everybody like the Desert Classic? I hope you do.

It's our belief as you know that classic never goes out of style. You've probably seen some of the ads right out front here, Mr. Palmer and Phil Mickelson together. The classic never goes out of style, and speaking of classic and class, today, ladies and gentlemen, it's with heavy hearts that we learned over the weekend the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Mr. Bush gave a lot to golf. He gave a lot to the PGA TOUR. He gave a lot to this tournament. As a matter of fact, back in 1995 he played with President Clinton and President Ford in the event. I think it was the only time that that ever happened where three presidents played together.

President Bush made a big impact on PGA TOUR golf. He was a huge supporter, as I said, and I just want to make sure we acknowledge him, we recognize him, and he'll never be forgotten, everybody. He was a tremendous individual.

Many iconic players over the years have been to the desert. We know that Arnold Palmer, the King, played here 42 times, and he won five times. You know, Mr. Palmer was a special man and gave a lot to the tournament. Phil Mickelson, again, these are two guys, Phil is on his way there, he's our ambassador. I want to thank Phil publicly for his amazing support of the tournament. He's, as you know, all in, loves the tournament, looking forward to playing again this year. So Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson, as you know, are two people that we think about that have made this tournament what it is.

Thank you to the board of directors at Desert Classic Charities that are here today. John Foster, the president, couldn't be here, but I'd like to recognize our board, the members of the board that are here, Roger Low, Kate Spates, Vic Labeau, Lee Osborn and Greg Helm. Thank you very, very much for being here.

In that spirit, we are pleased to unveil the Hall of Fame display here today, which was on display as you came in the door. We want to always recognize the past and look forward to the future. We want to do both as we go down the road together.

The display honors individuals whose contributions to PGA TOUR golf in the desert simply go above and beyond. The inaugural three inductees are Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer and Ernie Dunleavy. Bob Hope, as we know, hosted this tournament from 1965 to 2002, and through his relationships in Hollywood and in Washington, D.C., Bob drew an A-list of celebrities. He drew an A-list of celebrities every year to this golf tournament. We are what we are today, I believe, because Mr. Hope got behind this golf tournament in a big, big way.

Hopefully we'll carry that on in a different way. Entertainment, as you know, is a big part of our model. We're not going to have the A-list celebrities every year that Bob was able to bring, but we're going to bring music and other things that are going to entertain our fans and our sponsors.

So in a way, we're carrying it on in a different way, but in a similar way.

Also, you think about the Eisenhower Medical Center that Bob Hope was so involved in and this tournament, often referred to as the hospital that golf built, which I find that to be pretty interesting.

Arnold Palmer, the only five-time winner, as I said, he won in '60, '62, '68, '71 and '73. His fifth victory marked the 62nd and final victory of his career, which I think is awesome. As I said, Arnold played here 42 times, won five times, and hosted the event on its 50th anniversary in 2009.

Ernie Dunleavy founded the Palm Springs Golf Classic, which is where it all started back in the early '60s, which evolved into today's PGA TOUR event. As a developer of Bermuda Dunes Country Club, he was a pioneer of country club lifestyle, which has been adopted by so many in the desert. Bermuda Dunes served as one of the host courses for the Desert Classic from 1960 through 2009 with just one exception, in 2008. And Dunleavy served on the board of directors every year until his passing in 2013. I was told that he was still as sharp as a tack as a board member in his later years.

Today is the unveiling of the display. Starting tomorrow it's going to be in the LaQuinta City Hall, and it's going to go over to Arnold Palmer's restaurant for three weeks, and then it's going to Albertson's Vaughn's pavilion on the 18th green which this year went from 6,500 square feet last year to 12,000 square feet this year, right behind the 18th green, and we're going to put it on display all week long.

I want to thank Bob Miller, the chairman of the Albertson's companies for getting behind this tournament. As you know, they also own the Safeway banner, and they put on the Safeway Open up in Napa, but Bob is a resident here part time in LaQuinta and wanted to support the tournament, so this year's Albertson's Vaughn's pavilion is open to everybody who has a $30 ticket. Remember this: No cover charges and no wristbands.

So Bob teed it up this year, taking it almost double in size, and it's there on the 18th green and the display will be there all week.

Again, thank you to the DCC board and the archives committee for putting this together. I think it's just a first-class way to celebrate some of these great people.

This year's Desert Classic is certainly going to attract the golf fan. We know that. But it's also going to be enjoyed by foodies and families and music lovers, and they're all going to enjoy a beautiful week here. We're going to stay with our model that we unveiled last year where we entertained the fans with more than golf. Yes, it's going to be great golf, PGA TOUR golf at the highest level, but at the end of the day, we want to entertain our fans. We want to make sure that this ticket is probably the highest value ticket in sports. I can't imagine where you could go watch great golf, not have to have a wristband to go anywhere, listen to Bad Company and Sammy Hagar, rock-and-roll for $30. I don't know. That's a pretty good deal.

So anyway, at the end of the day, it's all about making us all proud, staging a great event here and raising money for the children of Coachella Valley. Before I invite Pat back up to take this program forward, and I hope everybody here has a great day on the golf course, has a lot of fun out here in this beautiful weather at this beautiful place, I've got a big announcement to make today, one I just can't be more excited about.

The tournament has added a presenting sponsor. The presenting sponsor the Desert Classic is Workday. Workday is our presenting sponsor for the tournament and a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Workday is a tremendous partner. We are honored to have them on board for the first stop on the PGA TOUR of the West Coast Swing next month. Our tournament ambassador and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, as you know, has a relationship with Workday on his chest. You see that logo. So there is a relationship there between Phil and Workday. But also between a number of other major great players on the PGA TOUR, they have a relationship with Workday, as well.

So Workday is our -- has a deep connection to golf, and they're going to be a great sponsor, presenting sponsor of this year's Desert Classic. So we're excited to have them.

At this time I'd like to bring back up our tournament director and a guy I'm super proud of, an executive at Lagardere Sports, Pat McCabe. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.

PAT McCABE: Thank you, Jeff, and very exciting news. We are honored to have Workday just a big part of this event. So their support is -- they couldn't be here today. They're headquartered in San Francisco, but you'll see them out here during the tournament week involved in the event, and we're just honored to have them a huge part of it.

Certainly also I'd be remiss if I didn't thank our team of Lagardere Sports. There's a few of them here today, to Chrissy Ormond, to Pat Bennett, to Ryan Tehara and our team, can we have a round of applause for everyone here from Lagardere, Sean, Ryan et cetera?

Also, of course, a few more thank-yous just because we can't do this without all these folks. The PGA West team, Darrin Harn, Rich Hohman, I know Jennifer Jenkins is not here, Rich Gigoux, the superintendent, Chris Cabellero, Flavio, the whole crew here at PGA West is just first class, and when we came in here a year ago and kind of started partnering with them, they jumped right on board, and we really appreciate it. A round of applause, Rich, Darrin, the whole team, so thank you guys very, very much.

Of course our other host venue, we're honored to have them here today. I know they're here, Bruce and Chris, where are you guys. Bruce Zahn, Chris Gilley, LaQuinta Country Club, our longtime tournament host, we're excited to have you here today and participate. Our pros just love your facility. Our amateurs love your facility, some of the best greens on TOUR as you heard Hudson Swafford say last year, so thank you for opening your doors for the week and allowing us and our players to be there, so big thanks.

And at the resort, I didn't see Matthew here, but again, this is a LaQuinta event. Last year we were at the Renaissance Indian Wells. We're honored and excited to be back in LaQuinta. Our host facility, PGA West, LaQuinta Country Club and LaQuinta Resort makes up that trio. So Matthew Diefenbach, who couldn't join us I don't believe today, has just been a great partner. Our pros love staying there. Our amateurs love staying there. It's close to all of our venues, and to keep everything obviously in town is obviously very important, so thank you to Matthew and the team over there, as well.

Of course Jeff mentioned some of our history, Arnold Palmer winning the inaugural event in 1960. We've had a long list of fantastic champions here at the Desert Classic, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Johnny Miller, Jay Haas, Corey Pavin, Fred Couples, of course, tournament ambassador, Phil Mickelson two-time champion. Phil is, of course, committed to be back here again this year to play in the event. He loves LaQuinta. He loves this tournament, and we're honored to have him back once again.

Another player who's going to etch their name alongside these greats this year and the fans here in Coachella Valley and LaQuinta are going to have a great opportunity to see all of the new venues that we installed last year that got bigger. I know Jeff touched on them just a little bit, but the golf festival model, of course, all three of our on-course venues, so last year we were at 12,000 square foot of just public hospitality venues. This year we've increased that footprint to over 20,000 square feet, so nearly double. When you are all out playing golf there today, take a notice on the 18th green, of course, the Albertson's Vaughn's fan pavilion is the focal point. That will consume the entire back side of the 18th green. So that structure that you'll see, which certainly isn't complete, but they started to build last week, will consume the entire back side of the 18th green, and again, for $30 to sit on that hole, enjoy food and beverage is just really one-of-a-kind value.

Of course we've got local restaurants who will be in that venue. We've added one. We have Lee Morcus has stepped up, and three of his local restaurants will be supporting the event and selling great food and beverage. We'll have pizza, we'll have tacos, we'll have filet, we'll have all sorts of great stuff, and then of course the Vaughn's signature cafe with their deli sandwiches, salads, et cetera. And then we have a lot of local beverages -- I'm sorry, a lot of great beverages, great wine, great beer, great spirits to enjoy in the climate-controlled venue, so that highlights the 18th hole.

Of course Michelob Ultra Beer For Birdies is back and bigger, again, once again on the 16th green/17th tee. That venue got a little rowdy last year. I don't know who was up there, but just a great place. Half-price beers for 15 minutes on either 16 or 17, the famed Rocket Alcatraz or that hard par-5 16th hole. Some of the younger demographic will be heading to that hole during the course of the week.

And then 17, the Casa Amigos club 17 is back and bigger. You'll hear us say bigger a lot, but that's kind of the vibe of what we're going with this year. Everything has gotten larger due to the popularity last year, due to the ticket purchases, due to the support of the local community, and that venue will be larger. You can enjoy Casa Amigos tequila, cocktails, good food, as well, in an open-air venue right on the 17th hole.

And of course, lastly, an integral part of this event is the military and honoring those who served our country. So United Rentals, we're excited to announce that they are our sponsor of the military outpost pavilion on the 18th green right next to the PGA West members' suite, so thanks to United Rentals, our veterans, our military, our first responders will gain complimentary access into that space all week, which is important certainly to this tournament and its roots, so that's back again.

The week kicks off on Wednesday with the Bob Hope legacy pro-am, which will be back, which is sold out, on Wednesday. Thanks to our new car sponsor, Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor Company, for those guests who are playing in the Bob Hope legacy pro-am, we'll have a KP competition on 17, and the winner of the KP competition will actually win a brand-new 2019 Ford vehicle. No, not a hole-in-one, closest-to-the-pin competition on Wednesday, so great story to promote. We'll also have a good story with Ford during tournament week, which will let you all know with regards to something else they're doing with a car giveaway, but more to come, more details on that. Great new partner, great new sponsor of the event.

Then we get into Thursday, obviously it's the first round of tournament play. After that Bob Hope legacy pro-am on Wednesday, Thursday marks round 1, all three tournament venues are exactly the same. The format of the golf tournament is exactly the same with our pro-ams playing from all over the world.

And then Friday, Jeff mentioned the music. We announced this just a couple weeks ago, coincided with our ticket announcement, as well. But so on Friday night, Grammy winner lead singer Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony, formerly of Van Halen, will rock right there on the driving range. We had Huey Lewis last year on Friday night for those of you who were here, and the response was terrific, so that classic rock vibe was something that was important to us to go back to, and he's going to put on a great show. He plays all of his Van Halen hits, Jason Bonham, Vic Johnson, all the classics will be there on Friday night. And then Bad Company, of course, on Saturday night. Bad Company will be led by the one and only Paul Rogers, who's now back playing with them. They'll sing all of their hits, their classic rock hits on Saturday night.

So we'll have two big, big nights right after play. The sun goes down, as you know, early here and the concert will kick off about 5:00 once golfers get off the course, once our amateurs get off the course and we'll be able to enjoy that.

Certainly a big thanks to the HM Francis C. Berger foundation. They are the sponsor once again of that concert series. Their support to the Coachella Valley Children's Charities and to Desert Classic Charities is something that's very important, and we're thankful for Berger and all those folks there for the sponsorship of the concert again.

Sunday, we'll have our junior clinic. The week kicks off at 2:00 on the driving range. We'll have a junior clinic complimentary to all the kids, highlighting the First Tee of greater Coachella Valley. We'll be here to help out with that, and kids always love coming out, taking a lesson from the First Tee folks.

So last year, as you know, we had one of the more memorable conclusions in this event's history. Jon Rahm outlasted Andrew Landry, sinking a birdie putt on the fourth extra hole, and we're also thankful that he did, because we didn't want to come back the next day to keep going, but I believe they didn't have a whole lot of light left. I believe that was the last hole they would have played. But Jon fired rounds of 62, 67, 70, 67, birdied his last hole, and we're excited that he'll be our defending champion. We're excited that he'll be back to play.

Some other notables that have committed already to the field: Jon Rahm, as I mentioned; Phil Mickelson; former UCLA standout, top 20 in the world Patrick Cantlay has committed to play in this year's event; former Masters champions and some European flair with Danny Willett and Charl Schwartzel are committed as of right now; former FedEx champion Bill Haas; and former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. So some great international flair. That's in the early commitment list right now. It's certainly early obviously with it being December 3rd. We'll get those reports about once or twice a week now and we'll certainly release those as we get more notable names. But to start with Phil and Jon certainly is a great, great start.

And again, it's all 30 bucks. As Jeff mentioned, it's a heck of a deal. Ticket sales are double, and we're just looking forward to having all the fans out here to come on out, enjoy this great sunshine, enjoy the great LaQuinta weather, and enjoy PGA TOUR golf.

I think at this time, after those announcements there, I'd like to pipe in our special guest, who's called in today. He couldn't join us. Unfortunately he was too busy winning yesterday in the Bahamas, but -- with a four-shot lead. We've talked plenty about him over the last year, and we're so gracious to have him as our champion. With his win yesterday, that marks his third PGA TOUR victory. That moved him up to No. 6 in the world. Jon Rahm, are you on there?

JON RAHM: Yes, I am. I'm here.

PAT McCABE: How are you this morning? This is Pat McCabe and about 80 media partners here. How are you?

JON RAHM: I'm doing very well. How is everyone?

PAT McCABE: Everyone is great. Obviously the golf is great, but more importantly, congrats on your recent engagement. Congratulations.

JON RAHM: Thank you very much. I apologize for not being able to be there, but like you said, we got home pretty late last night. I wish I would have been able to be there.

PAT McCABE: No problem. Anything you'd like to start off with?

JON RAHM: I mean, there's so many great things I can say about this event. Obviously it's an event that I really want to win again. It was really important to me because it's not only a great event with a lot of history, with a legacy of a lot of great players, but it's one of those courses -- the Nicklaus course at the PGA West is one of them that I played quite a few times as an amateur, an amateur event in Palm Springs every year, and we stayed at LaQuinta and we actually had a great time. It's world-class golf courses, world-class venue that, like Swafford said, the greens on those golf courses are probably the best all year, comparable to Augusta National. The shape on the greens is unbelievable. It's great, it's great to putt on, it's a great way to kick off the year. Weather is always good. There's nothing really bad to say about this event. Crowds are amazing, the atmosphere on 16, 17, 18 is great. I really hope I don't have to play 18 four more times this year. Hopefully I can get it done before.

It really is a great venue, and hopefully I can have as much fun as I did last year.

PAT McCABE: Tell us a little bit about the Bahamas, very cool event, obviously 18 players, a selective field there in the Bahamas. Was it your first time playing in Tiger's Hero World Challenge?

JON RAHM: It was my first time, and that event in the Bahamas is the closest feeling a golfer is ever going to have to a working vacation. There's no cut, 18 of the best players in the world, obviously we all want to beat each other really bad. We all want to win the event and we all want to finish the week strong, and it's another event with a lot of legacy and history. I mean, Tiger and the Tiger Foundation, it's a lot to represent and to just link your name to something like that is obviously great for somebody's career.

And then the venue is also -- the Bahamas is a pretty special place, being in the islands. Again, it almost feels like a vacation, but at the same time, we're working. It's a much more relaxed vibe than what a PGA TOUR event would be.

PAT McCABE: Well, you say this it's a working vacation, but as we know, with this wraparound schedule and the PGA TOUR schedule, going right into the Ryder Cup after finishing the TOUR Championship, were you able to enjoy an off-season at all or get some time, or is now when that kind of kicks in?

JON RAHM: So I took about two and a half weeks off after Ryder Cup, where it was a little bit of a mental break. I had some fun with my friends. But I think it's not until after this event, because I still had to play Dubai and China and obviously Tiger's event, right, so I think it's not until now to where I really feel like it's off time, where I can really just let down and forget about golf for a little bit.

PAT McCABE: Let's go back to this event last year. The folks from LaQuinta Country Club are sitting in the room, and you fired -- it wasn't the course record, which is 59, which we've had a few times, but a pretty good opening round there on Thursday. Can you talk a little bit about that 62 you opened up with last year over at LaQuinta?

JON RAHM: Man, what can I say? That golf course is certainly tricky. I made it seem easy, but the previous year I actually struggled pretty good around that golf course. It was all set up by a magnificent ball-striking day. I was hitting drivers into holes that you probably shouldn't be hitting drivers on, basically on every hole I could, on 1, on 2, on 4, which is not the easiest driver hole, pretty much everywhere I could, on 10. And when you don't miss a driver like I did the first round and accompany it with pretty solid iron play, you're going to have a lot of birdie chances out there, and with the greens being as pure as they are, I was able to make a few, including an eagle, and having a pretty good start to the tournament.

I love the golf course. I fell in love with it last year. I think it's one of the better courses. I love playing traditional golf when it's narrow and tricky and you've got to hit good golf shots. It's just really fun, like I said. I hope I get to start the tournament again there this year because it's definitely a great golf course to play.

PAT McCABE: And certainly your four-hole playoff catapulted -- you had a heck of a year last year certainly, winning on the European Tour, of course a victorious Ryder Cup season and then your win yesterday, but with such a great season last year, of course T4 in the Masters, T4 at the PGA, what are your goals for the 2019 outset, and what are you looking to accomplish? It would be hard to beat last year, but...

JON RAHM: Yes, two years in a row on TOUR that I've won three times worldwide, so if I can accomplish that again, it will be obviously a huge year, winning both tours again would be something amazing. First thing in mind is to defend my title in Palm Springs. That's the next thing I've got to do.

PAT McCABE: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Highlighting your year last year, winning the Desert Classic, winning the Open de EspaƱa, the Ryder Cup, what sticks out as the highlight for you last year?
JON RAHM: It's tough to beat the Sunday match against Tiger. I've talked about it the last few days a lot. As a golfer, any time you get to play with your idol, or one of your idols, it's a great feeling, something that everybody looks forward to. But to get to do it on the Sunday of Ryder Cup, even though we had a big lead early on on the Sunday, to actually win the first full point for Europe and see how everything turned around, I've got to say that's got to be -- I mean, that is the best golfing experience I've had in my life, and it's going to be hard to better it.

Then I'm going to say that playoff against Landry is nothing short of that. I hadn't been in a playoff in a PGA TOUR event before. Let's say that tee shot on 18 is not the best tee shot for somebody who likes hitting a fade and can't hit a driver, and to do it four times in a row and hit the fairway and end up with a birdie was really, really special, as well. It was definitely close up there, but I've got to say that that Sunday with Tiger was really memorable.

PAT McCABE: Now the 18th hole, it plays, I want to say 470 from way, way back, what was your club selection? You hit 3-wood off that tee, and what do you have left in there?

JON RAHM: I think I hit pitching wedge all four times.

PAT McCABE: 465, 3-wood, pitching wedge, so when you're out there --

JON RAHM: It was a little downwind, and that time of year the fairways are firm so it does get a little bit of extra roll, but I cannot deny that I did swing hard and hit the center of the club face every single time.

PAT McCABE: Maybe because we're at elevation here in the desert, right? That must be.

JON RAHM: Yeah, that's it.

Q. How do you juggle your time and how many events you play on the PGA TOUR as well as the European Tour? Do you have your schedule planned out? You've been very successful, one of few who's been able to be successful on both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour. Talk a little bit about how you balance that.
JON RAHM: Well, I really don't know what to say because I just -- I let the people around me give me their opinion and tell me what they think is best. But like I've done both years, I try to focus on the PGA TOUR early on just because I love the West Coast Swing, and then there really isn't much on the European Tour going on up until summer, right, especially with the Rolex Series events this year, which is great to focus on for somebody like me who can't be European Tour full time. So I try to work around those events and play as many as I can.

Obviously there's two events in Spain next year, defending in one of them, and the Valderrama Masters being a different time of year, I might be able to play both of them this year. So those are some key notes to really focus on, and then, yeah, try to work the whole schedule around the big events, which is the World Golf Championships, majors, and to me the Rolex Series events.

It's a little bit of both. I've always wanted to be a global player, so I just feel like when I play the PGA TOUR and then I go to Europe, it's kind of like a fresh start because it's a little different golf courses, different people, different type of golf in general, right, it's just like a little -- it's like hitting the reset button to the mind on the golf game. I certainly enjoy playing both tours.

Q. You're an Arizona State Sun Devil, only a few hours down the road here from the desert, of course Phil Mickelson the winner of The Match, Arizona State Sun Devil. Talk about your relationship there with Phil, Arizona State connection, the Scottsdale connection, et cetera.
JON RAHM: Well, it all starts with Tim Mickelson now, Phil's caddie, being my coach for four years, my manager for a year. When I went on TOUR, being a Sun Devil alone and the relationship I had with Tim, Phil and I played quite a bit together, so he kind of -- he really turned into my mentor, whether he wanted to or not. I guess that's what I was trying to do. He turned interest a mentor and a friend and we played a lot of practice rounds together, and I tried to learn as much as possible from him. Knowing Phil, how he is, 25 years of experience, how much he studies every golf course, how much he studies the game of golf, there's a lot of things to learn from somebody like him, right, so I tried to play with him and soak up as much information as I can.

I actually played a practice round last year with him at the Desert Classic, right before the tournament, and besides that, he's just a great guy to be around and a great friend. He's been really helpful. I wish I could pay him back some day, somehow, but he's definitely given me a lot more than I can give him.

We all know how good of a guy he is, so it's to me a pleasure to call him my friend and my mentor. But again, it all starts with Tim Mickelson. If that relationship wasn't there first, I don't know if that would have happened, but also being part of the Lagardere team and helping Jeff Koski and Steve Loy, it's like we have a lot of ties together in our careers. I think he can relate to me a little bit.

Q. Do you know your schedule right now on the West Coast? What's your plan, Hawai'i, coming to us, and what's your West Coast Swing look like?
JON RAHM: Well, I think it's safe to say I'm playing Palm Springs, Torrey and Phoenix. I'm past champion in two of them, and also Phoenix is pretty safe to assume, but I really haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet. Most likely go to Hawai'i, I guess, and then I'm going to have to decide what I play before I go to Mexico. I really don't know if I'm going to be playing Sony, Pebble or LA. That's kind of what I have to decide right now. But I was waiting to finish the year to create -- to work around my schedule, especially with the Valderrama Masters in Spain changing dates. I'm going to have to work a couple things around, maybe add a couple new events that I want to play on the PGA TOUR.

You know, there's a lot to think about, so I'm probably going to do that over the next few weeks. If I knew, I would tell you, but I have no idea.

PAT McCABE: We're just thankful you'll be here.

JON RAHM: I will be here, that's for sure.

PAT McCABE: Thank you for your time this morning. Congratulations on a heck of a season last year, a Ryder Cup victory, your win yesterday. Have a great holiday season. Congratulations on your engagement, and we'll see you here in the desert in just a few weeks, right?

JON RAHM: Thank you very much, and merry Christmas everyone, and happy new year.

PAT McCABE: Pretty cool to hear from world No. 6, our defending champion. He's a great young man. It's hard to think he's only 23 or 24 years young, and No. 6 in the world. Just a great young man. Looking forward to having him in a fantastic field here in a few weeks. But that wraps up our program here this morning.

For those of you who are playing golf, of course hit 3-wood, wedge on 18 and see -- then hit another wedge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2018-12-03 18:53:00 GMT

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