With a final-round 69, Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer claimed a three-shot victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Rahm and Palmer finished their four rounds at TPC Louisiana at 26-under par. The victory earned each player $1,051,200 and 400 FedExCup points.
Afterwards, the winning team met with the media. Here are a few pulls from the back and forth.
This week’s 3 Questions for the Winner is powered by Taylormade Golf.
What It Means
If you could talk to us about the meaningfulness of this victory for you guys as a team.
RYAN PALMER: You know, what it means, I don’t want to speak to — we weren’t even a team. We played together last year when I was playing with Jordan and he was playing with Wesley, and I knew Jordan wasn’t going to play this year, and with Wesley going through the shoulder surgery, both no partners, so James and I talked about it way back in January.
I really wanted to come here. I wouldn’t miss coming here each and every year, and we kind of talked about partners, and Jon was one of the top ones if not the top choice for both of us. We know Adam since day one we’ve been on TOUR, good friends with Adam for a long time. It was an easy decision. I shot him a text hoping he would bite. When a 42-year-old player is calling him, he’s probably like, why does he want to play with me.
But he accepted, and what an awesome week. Our games complement each other so much, the way we drive the ball, our iron play, and there’s nothing better than missing greens knowing his short game is behind me. What a week.
JON RAHM: Yeah, it’s been an incredible week with RP. He summarized it very well.
When Wesley told me he was having shoulder surgery a few months before the event, I was in no man’s land, no partner. I got a text from Ryan, and I was like — last year we were joking around saying, we are going to play together really, really well based on how we played last year, and we saw each other, and it was a clear choice.
I’m really happy I said yes. I couldn’t be more thrilled.
PALMER: I hope so.
RAHM: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, pretty happy about it. I can say Jordan and Wesley, sorry, we already have a partner for next year.
The Putting Conditions
You mentioned how challenging the putting was before. Do you have a sense of why that was today?
RYAN PALMER: Yeah, the greens were crusty. I know they’re redoing the greens after this week, and they were firm, fast. When you get crusty, your putter blade slips around on it when you put the putter behind the ball. So you’re really cautious with that. And when you get greens that are that crusty, it’s hard for the friction to kind of grab the ball and take breaks, and then the speed is so different from what you’re used to.
I think Jon will say these are probably faster than what he putted on at Augusta, I believe, just from the dryness of them. It’s hard when you play slower greens that have been wet for three days and you come to these. But what a day to buckle down and make the ones we needed to.
JON RAHM: Yeah, I mean, I never really got truly used to them up until the back nine. I couldn’t get it done, and as I was saying, he had to make — he had to save my mistakes a bunch of times on those greens to make pars. It was a test.
When you have greens that have slopes that are not ready to have greens in this shape, it was challenging, definitely challenging, because what you’ve been seeing all week and what you’ve been feeling all week is not going to happen. You kind of have to develop new feeling and think a little bit more about how the ball is going to react. It was definitely difficult.
For anyone that didn’t notice, can you tell us about the Skittles, how they were used, the significance of them?
RYAN PALMER: Playing with Bubba and J.B., we were playing with them, and they were throwing the ball around the horn when they made birdie, so we thought about we threw the putter around the horn and that didn’t work.
Of course we had to teach Jon what ‘around the horn’ was in baseball, and he didn’t know anything about it. So then Adam had a bag of Skittles, and he goes, ‘Do you want a Skittle?’ You just made birdie. Like, sure, let’s go, and it started: Let’s go make birdies for Skittles.
So every time we saw him the next day, he’s like, ‘Let’s go get some Skittles’ (or birdies). And that’s kind of what it turned into.
JON RAHM: We shot like 5-under on the back nine once we started doing the Skittles, so we felt like it worked out pretty good.
PALMER: Just one Skittle so we couldn’t get too big of a sugar rush.
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