For once, Jon Rahm showed that he is also human, that what he does on the weekend yes and on the other, that winning or almost achieving it is not normal but extraordinary, a superlative exercise in competitiveness and ability, genius with a top hat of the sticks. But the same has not happened in Oak Hill in Rochester (New York). Stuck in his game at the PGA Championship, with an expressive first round (+6) and a timely correction in the second (-2) to make the cut, the man from Barrika lost patience, the swing and the opportunity to fight for the laurel of his third major – he won the US Open 2021 and the last Masters -, the second of his career and of the course. Under a curtain of undaunted rain, between curses and even the occasional bad gesture —he was counted two for which he will have to pay a fine of $10,000 for bad behavior and example—, even though in the end he corrected himself and ignited, Rahm sealed a +2 (+6 in total) and his capitulation, already far from the leaders. Especially from the North American Koepka (-6), with whom he already battled in the previous Masters until the last day, a golfer with a fang.
The return from the tee of the 1st, because he visited the rough after a drive a bit off the beaten path, good undergrowth because the bermuda grass still gets heavier and rockier with rain. Street, green and a putt stupendous six-meter tie that made him a stately but bloody tie, 360º of disgust, and bogey for a start. It would be the tonic of the day. After another mismatched start, she ended up in the bunker, then on the street and her first bewilderment.oh my god!, he exclaimed after sending the ball into the territory of two putts. Other bogeytwo of two and nothing to celebrate on the day of the moving day —It’s called the day of the movement because it’s the day that clarifies who will fight for the trophy and who will be in the mud—, the one in which he had to sign under par if he wanted to do something. “If I’m even at the end of Saturday, I can scare the leaders. If they arrive at -5 or -6 and on Sunday I do a lap of 66…”, he hissed a few hours before playing. But he choked the field, mines everywhere seasoned with the persistent rain, and he was left with the desire.
I didn’t have the day. She didn’t even ease his birdie of hole four, a pure -a putt long-distance holeshot—that made him stick out his fist. More than anything because he ran into him again rough in the fifth and after getting it out with great difficulty, it exploded when hitting a microphone that was at ground level with the stick. The gesture that he would repeat a little later, when he chained another three bogeys. “Oh wow, look at that! Good luck!” he yelled after him. drive at 8. And he did have it because the ball was behind the fence (an inaccessible place), but not out of bounds, so the referee allowed him to drop without penalty. But a chip terrible made him sign another bogey and the complaints were already happening. “Again, again!” she yelled. “Ball with water!”, She lamented herself; “What a bad luck!”…
Digesting that he would no longer savor the PGA, not even the fight to try it, Rahm relaxed. Therefore, after a putt of those who take away the hiccups in the 13th hole, laughed and humorously took the birdie, good face to bad weather. Never better said. And that led him to recover his golf, beautiful wedge in the next hole to concatenate another birdie, in the end three in the last six holes. At his side, once again, because of taking the same blows, repeated his starting partner, the Australian Cameron Smith, blond mustache, unkempt hair and high-flying golf, LIV player and champion of the past The Open, who did not attend to something other than his ball, to his day at par. It did not go so well for Pablo Larrazábal, the other Spaniard who made the cut —Arnaus and Otaegui stayed on the road—, who finished the round with a +4 (+8 in total).
There was no one, in any case, like Koepka, the lord of the greats -two US Open and two PGA in his pocket, plus 13 top-5 in the majors-, competitive beast that scored a -4 on the day, favorite for the scepter after fighting with Rahm the Masters until he deflated. Behind him Hovland (-5), always aggressive and in search of the birdiesexhibiting good humor and manners on the course, a young golfer who for a couple of courses has been looking for the major; fourth in the previous British and seventh in the Masters. But there is more. Like Conners (-5), who has continued to play wonderfully since the tee and kicking solidly, his flaw to date. Like the scientist DeChambeau (-3), who is reuniting with his heterodox swing. Like the extremely dangerous Scheffler (-2), even though he didn’t have the day yesterday. And like two old acquaintances who don’t understand giving up: Justin Rose (-2) and, finally, Rory McIlroy (-1). All of them are the only under par players in the tournament. Awesome distance with Rahm, champion of the past Masters, the only one capable of winning four tournaments since the beginning of the course (they join The American Express, The Genesis Invitational and Sentry Tournament), which is number one in the ranking for a reason. This time, however, he will not fight for the Wanamaker. But no matter how much the course, the day or depending on the shots sometimes drove him crazy, it is normal in golf. Even for Jon Rahm.
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