Jon Rahm says he doesn’t want to see a golf club, but what of his 2022 Major Championship chances?

The Spaniard has enjoyed and endured a strange 2021 – next year could be even better.

It's been a rum year for Jon Rahm.

High? Yes, lots of them.

But lows? Yes, a few of them as well.

The good news is that the 26-year-old has landed 14 top 10s in 2021, won a first Major Championship, starred for Europe at the Ryder Cup, and is the World No. 1.

The bad news is that one win was ripped from his hands by a positive Covid test, a second stopped him playing the Olympics, and that he then finished joint low-scorer at the Tour Championship but didn't even get a play-off due to the format.

Oh, and his last fortnight in Spain was not quite the happy home coming he had hoped for.

He finished T17th last week at the Open de Espana - a poor effort after he had traded odds on before he'd hit the turn in the first round - and missed the cut last week at Valderrama.

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In the aftermath of his weekend off he admitted: "This is the first time in my life that I don't want to see a golf club. And this comes from someone who loves this sport, and after a year in which some pretty good things have happened to me.

"More than my body, it is my mind that can't take it. I am going to hang up my clubs for four weeks. I haven't stopped since the stoppage because of COVID. If we add it all up, I need to rest."

We'll next see him at the DP World Tour Championship next month.

He need not panic, of course.

A few bad weeks means nothing.

He'll be a Major Championship contender next year so let's look ahead to his prospects in them.

The Masters

Rahm has always looks a fine Masters prospect on paper and he has proved it in reality as well.

On debut in 2017 he was in contention at halfway ahead of slipping back to T27th, but since then he has never finished outside the top 10.

He was a fast-finishing fourth in 2018, ninth in 2019, seventh after sharing the halfway lead in 2020, and fifth this year.

He was a little disappointed with his effort in April - he was never in the hunt nad landed a back door top five with a Sunday 66.

But there were mitigating factors: his daughter had just been born.

Next April he will be fully prepared and also have fond memories of the birth. It might prove inspirational, in fact.

Paddy Power have priced Rahm at 9/1 to win the 2022 Masters.

PGA Championship

Three top 15 finishes from five starts, but only once, when tied third in 2018, has he been in the hunt with 18 holes to play.

The 2022 host is Southern Hills in Oklahoma which gives no great hint of his likely fondness for the test.

US Open

He will head to The Country Club in Brookline for his defence of the trophy he won in emotional fashion at Torrey Pines.

For a big lump like he is, Rahm is actually a big softie. The Californian course is surrounded by hiking country where he proposed to his now wife and those memories fuelled his success in June.

We don't know that he has anything similar to propel him to further glory at Brookline and he will, of course, also have history against him. Only Ben Hogan, Curtis Strange and Brooks Koepka have defended the trophy since the Second World War.

He's a bit boom or bust in this championship: two missed cuts, two further failures to make the top 20, then third and first.

Open

His first three quests for the Claret Jug saw him fail to break the top 40, but his double success in the Irish Open on linksland made it clear that he can play seaside golf.

He was T11th at Royal Portrush and tied third at Royal St George's this year.

A tilt at the title looks like on The Old Course at St Andrews.

Conclusion

He seems most likely to win the Masters, but the Open will be in his crosshairs too.

READ MORE: Rory McIlroy’s 20 PGA Tour wins: From the breakthrough in 2010 to THE CJ CUP last week

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