John Rahm's Curious Revelation, Sahith Theegala's Homemade Remedy And More From The WM Phoenix Open

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We're going to continue these "news-and-notes" style blogs that we wrote at the Sentry Tournament of Champions—you guys seemed to enjoy a bunch of quick-hitters from around the grounds rather than a drawn-out 700-word narrative story that either isn't really a story at all or could've easily been 200 words. 

With that, let's venture inside the ropes…

Jon Rahm out of absolutely nowhere

Jon Rahm was first up in the press room this week and, as he displayed on last week's Fore Play podcast, he's clearly in a very good place in his life. He's confident as hell, both as a golfer and as a voice in our sport, and his recent interviews always produce unvarnished insight. Today fit the bill—but in between all the nuggets of information, he chose to respond to a pretty innocuous question with an answer that made you think: did he really just say that?

Rahm, who's already won twice in 2023, was asked if he bought anything or if he has a souvenir to commemorate getting to world No. 1. He did not hesitate. 

"I do. His name is Kepa. He's almost two years old."

At this point, Rahm paused, realized he'd probably shared a touch too much, and preceded to apologize to his wife…before then saying what probably didn't need to be said. 

"She can tell you the story more than me. We suspect that it was that night."

Wow! I can't say I've ever heard a conception story during a Tuesday press conference.

The WM Phoenix Open continues to rise…for some

In terms of crowd size, footprint and overall atmosphere, the WM Phoenix Open has felt like the biggest tournament on tour for the last handful of years. This year's event is on steroids: it's now a designated event, meaning all the top PGA Tour players are here, and the Super Bowl's also in town. This event used to be something of a gimmick—the "Wasted" Management Open, an excuse for Arizona State kids to get hammered outside, as if they needed one—but it's elbowed its way into the elite tier of PGA Tour events. 

"I definitely think WM is now on par with all the invitationals—the Memorial, Riviera, Bay Hill," Harris English told me. "This can be as big to win as the Players in a couple years."

That was my read as well—that this week has more buzz than any non-major, non-Players I can remember. And it's only going to get bigger. You've got a golf-crazy market, a golf course that can handle the crowds and all the top players in the field. So I asked Rahm if he, too, felt like this is one of those tournaments a player particularly wants to win before he hangs it up. 

"I think this was a designated event before we ever knew what they were going to be. No matter what the purse is, this tournament is going to be what it is. Very few sporting events in the world can comfortably happen in the same week as the Super Bowl and still have the impact that they have like this one. With that said, I don't think it's everybody's favorite. I think either you love it or hate it. There's no in between. With my case, I love it. I want to come every year. It ranks highly in my list but I know a few people that put it far down their list, so I don't know what to say."

David Cannon. Getty Images.

Sahith Theegala takes matters into his own hands

Fore Play listeners will know that I have to always wear a rain glove when playing golf. My hands are simply too sweaty. This, of course, makes handshakes a particularly anxiety-producing experience for me. I always go for the pound, which became standard practice during the COVID years, but it does seem that handshakes are back en vogue. So, when I saw Sahith Theegala holding his hand out for a shake, I figured I'd at least warn him of the moisture coming his way. 

"See, that's funny because I have the dryest hands of all time," he responded. Apparently he'd already applied lotion—not hand cream, because it's "too oily"—to his hands twice in the last few hours just to keep them from cracking. It's been a problem since college. Back in his Pepperdine days, Theegala said he used to glue his skin together with krazy glue to prevent cuts from widening. 

Certainly not an FDA-approved remedy…but it's whatever works, right?

An update on the caddie who collapsed at Pebble Beach

Last Friday, a caddie for an amateur in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am suddenly collapsed while walking up the 11th fairway at Pebble Beach. 

That led to a horrific scene—ambulances were called onto the course, where first responders administered CPR. Beau Hossler and Max McGreevy, the two professionals in the group, were shaken up and paused play for roughly an hour to collect themselves. McGreevy had an update for me on the condition of the caddie, who apparently often works at the highly regarded Monterey Peninsula Country Club. He's alive, but he's still sedated and in the ICU. Just a brutal situation. 

Shane Lowry can't fathom leaving this all behind

Virtually any player worth a damn has been the subject of LIV Golf rumors. Of course, the vast majority of these rumors are not credible, but apparently any sentient being with a Twitter account can send the rumor mill into overdrive. Shane Lowry's name was floated around quite a bit as a potential target for LIV, but he shut that down in pretty clear-cut terms last year. 

That doesn't mean, however, that he's not following what's going on in world golf. LIV's release of a promotional video showing its 12-team captains—and the newly named "Range Goats" and "Ripper GC" was certainly a topic of conversation on the TPC Scottsdale range. Lowry thought it all quite funny before reiterating why he's staying where he is. 

"Look around you," he said, pointing to the massive grandstands enveloping the final three holes. "We're playing here, in front of these crowds, with a $20 million purse. How could you leave this behind?"