OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Most weeks on the PGA Tour, Jon Rahm is on autopilot – airport, hotel, course, and not much else in between. This week in the Baltimore area, which is hosting its first Tour event in nearly 60 years, is no different.
But if Rahm does have some free time – and his infant son, Kepa, cooperates – he knows just who to call for a rec: Michael Phelps.
The Olympic swimming legend and Baltimore native has developed a friendship with Rahm over the years.
“He’s a great guy,” Rahm said. “He’s gone through a lot, and as an athlete he’s somebody to look up to very easily. When you’re the greatest Olympian of all-time, you definitely have a couple tricks up your sleeve, a couple good moments of wisdom in that sense. … I’m not going to disclose too much on what I’ve asked him golf-wise, but he has helped me a lot.”
One thing that Rahm was willing to share was how Phelps helped him mentally prepare to compete in the Masters last April, less than a week after Kepa was born. Phelps experienced a similar situation back in 2016, when he had to leave two days after the birth of his first son, Boomer, to resume training in Colorado.
“He knows how hard it is to be there and then right after that, gone, I have to go train, and not see him,” Rahm said. “He did help me out with that. That’s not an easy feeling. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, even if it’s the Masters.
“I really did not want to leave that room, but he helped me out with that.”
Rahm tied for fifth at Augusta National, sparking a 2021 major run that included a U.S. Open victory and no finish worse than T-8.
Rahm, of course, was then asked about his swimming skills.
“Do I look like a good swimmer?” he responded. “I’m a diver. I’m not swimming for very long.”