New dad Jon Rahm won't get much Masters practice and Rory McIlroy can relate

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – After becoming a father over the weekend, Jon Rahm will have only one practice round before he plays in the Masters. He is planning to arrive in Augusta later Tuesday, speak to the media Wednesday morning and then play a nine- or 18-hole practice round, according to his manager.

Rory McIlroy can relate to the whirlwind.

Last August, McIlroy and his wife, Erica, welcomed their baby girl on Monday of Tour Championship week. After a few days at home, McIlroy then flew to East Lake for the season finale, arriving just a day before the opening round. He fired a 64 on the first day.


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“So he’s got that to live up to,” McIlroy said, laughing.

“He’s probably just had the greatest few days of his life,” he said. “It’s such a cool feeling. He can at least come here in a state of mind knowing everything is OK at home and he can concentrate on what he has to do here, get a few nights’ sleep, and then obviously go back and be a dad.

“But yeah, you’re riding high. There’s so many emotions that are involved. But I think Jon’s an awesome player and he’s played well here over the last couple years, and I’m sure he’s going to handle everything really well.”

Rahm and his wife, Kelley, became parents early Saturday morning, to a baby boy named Kepa. He said on social media over the weekend that both mom and baby are doing well.

The world No. 3 will arrive at Augusta National with three consecutive top-10s in this event. He’s finished inside the top 15 in eight of his past nine starts overall, dating to the fall.

“I don’t feel like that’s going to distract him at all,” McIlroy said. “He’s had a great few days, and everything’s good. If you can sort of just keep that mindset going into this week, being here and being relaxed and maybe having your mind not fully on Augusta and the Masters and the green jacket is not a bad thing.”