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Jon Rahm ready for five matches, but Whistling Straits a stern test

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Jon Rahm is as good a bet as any to play all five Ryder Cup matches, but that’s a stiffer challenge this week.

Whistling Straits is a grueling layout to navigate, with significant mounding and hikes from green to tee that would make 36 holes a day particularly taxing. Throw in the pressure and the emotional output, as well as the cold and windy conditions, and we’re likely to see 24 exhausted players come week’s end.

Rahm says he’s prepared for the challenge, even if that means he plays in every session.

“I’m physically ready for it,” he said Thursday. “I know I don’t look like it, but I train every day when I’m at home, believe it or not. I’m in really good shape. I have no problem walking 36.

Jon Rahm wants to let 'clubs and the ball do the talking'

Jon Rahm wants to let 'clubs and the ball do the talking'

“I feel like the biggest challenge in an event like this is the mental aspect of it, and that’s where I think you need to learn to really unwind quickly and get ready when you need to. On the golf course, you can’t be 100% focused and locked in for five hours. That’s mentally draining. You have to learn how to switch off a little bit and have fun with your partner and your caddie and be ready to hit the shot in there.”

Fellow European Ryder Cupper Matthew Fitzpatrick agreed that for the team’s studs, going all five matches shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

“Most guys are great athletes,” he said. “I’d like to think you can do 36 a day for two days and then 18 on Sunday. I know there’s obviously so many added stresses with the crowd and emotions and everything else that comes with it. But I’d like to think that everyone really can get through that pretty easily.”