AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – New dad Jon Rahm was the last of the 88 players in the Masters field to arrive at Augusta National, and he moved quickly to dispel a rumour that he had named his baby after Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Rahm’s wife Kelley gave birth to a boy, Kepa, on Saturday morning, leaving the world number three to spend a few days helping out with parent duties before turning his attention to golf’s first major of 2021.
He arrived on-site at the course at mid-morning on the eve of the tournament and he was still floating on cloud nine as he spoke about the experience.
“From Thursday to Monday didn’t sleep much, didn’t hit a single golf shot,” the Spaniard told reporters.
“You know, maybe haven’t prepared as much as I have in the past, but definitely mentally in a different state, right.
“A lot of times practising for a major you spend so much time thinking about golf, and for four or five days it wasn’t even on my mind, which is kind of refreshing.”
Rahm, a supporter of Spanish soccer team Athletic Bilbao where Arrizabalaga played before joining Chelsea in 2018, explained that they had chosen ‘Kepa’ as it is a traditional name in the Basque Country, the golfer’s home region.
“The name Kepa is Basque,” Rahm said.
“It’s where I’m from in the Basque Country, and when we were going through Basque names, because she (Kelley) agreed to honour my heritage that way, we just had to find one that she could pronounce, and that’s the one we came up with that she really liked.
“But I do think a lot of people believe I’m a Chelsea fan now. No…”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis)