Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines (South and North)



Legends

Jon Rahm on the one question he would have asked Kobe Bryant is some seriously heartwarming stuff

Three years ago this week, NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash at the age of 41. The gutting news of his early death rocked the sports world hard, so much so that it became the focal point of final-round coverage of the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. CBS cameras even captured the live reaction of Tiger Woods, who was informed of the tragedy by caddie Joe LaCava immediately after his round. Woods, who had a close relationship with the L.A. Laker great, could offer up nothing but a stunned "excuse me?" to the shocking information.

Jon Rahm, who idolized Bryant while in college at Arizona State, also didn't find out until after his round, and the news was particularly painful for him. During a SportsCenter appearance on Tuesday, the Spaniard revealed he was going to meet the five-time NBA champion for the first time that very week.

"It was actually this tournament a few years ago on Sunday where my wife Kelley came into scoring to let me know he had passed," Rahm told ESPN's Matt Barrie. "What people don’t know is that I had a meeting arranged with Kobe two days after that Sunday. On Tuesday I was going to go meet him at Orange County." 

Unfortunately, Rahm never got to meet one of his heroes, someone he's attempted to model his own career after. Given his recent run of form, it seems to be working. 

"The way he approached his lifestyle and his craft really spoke to me and I really took a lot of information on how to do what I have to do, and what I want to do," Rahm said. 

The good news is, Rahm has befriended a few other legendary atheletes like Michael Phelps and J.J. Watt to go to for advice, which is already paying off, he says. "Those are great athletes that have shown me what it takes to be one of the best athletes in the world," said Rahm. "Some of the things that I've been applying as of late have really changed the way I feel physically, and I'm still learning from them." 

Rahm does still wish he had a chance to chat with Bryant, though, and, surprisingly, his first question for the 18-time All-Star wouldn't be solely about their respctive crafts. It would be about fatherhood. 

"I honestly wanted to ask Kobe, how the heck did he practice the way he did and still have the impact he had as a father with his daughters, right?" said Rahm, who had his second child in August. "How do you divide all that and still be a good reference for your kids? That’s what I wanted to know. Obviously, golf, you can play up until you are 60, right? Basketball, not so much. I wanted to know how to make the most of what I can do on the golf course and off. I guess I’ll never know his answer now. I asked Tiger that once, and he said he didn’t sleep. That doesn’t correlate with me. And I know Kobe would say the same thing, but I’d have to figure out something in between."

Welp, that's some seriously heartwarming stuff. Pretty touching to see Rahm is putting just as much effort into being the No. 1 golfer in the world to being the No. 1 dad.