Neither Jon Rahm is a perfect golf-playing machine nor is golf a sport that at times differentiates stars from mortals so much. A putt of one meter can be missed by anyone, from an amateur player to a world number three like the Basque, champion this year of the Augusta Masters, the Ryder Cup and three other tournaments on the American circuit. As an example, you can rewind the second day of the Spanish Open held at the Villa de Madrid Country Club. Rahm was a machine, yes, but this time he failed putts, one after the other, as if he had suddenly lost the spark between his fingers. Some fell short, others went over the target, some touched the hole, and even the typical mocking tie appeared at the shortest distance. No, there was no way.
Rahm signed one stroke over par on the day for -3 overall, he fell to 45th place and this Saturday he will start at 9:35 on the third day together with Rafa Cabrera Bello and the South African Louis de Jager, eight strokes behind the leader, the French Matthieu Pavon (-11). Any attempt at a comeback involves urgently correcting this mismatch with the putter that led him down the street of bitterness. Alfredo García-Heredia (-9) and Alex del Rey (-7) are the best-ranked Spaniards, behind Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño -6, Pablo Larrazábal and Adrian Otaegui -5, Santiago Tarrío -4 and also – 3 by Rafa Cabrera Bello.
The entrance door to the maze was on hole 1. Rahm missed the fairway to the right and, without the best angle, had to aim to the left of green. From that side she chained three putts in a preview of the day’s sentence. Bogey starting in the middle of an expectation that had turned the first tee in a demonstration. Nor did he hunt green in number 2, when he asked the photographers not to move, and he missed the street again in number 4, this time to the left and with a good assortment of trees in front of him. The par five ended with another two putts. At 5 and 6, a new detour on the mat, until he caught the first (and only) birdie of the day, on the par five of the 7th. The first part was completed with the same tone on the 9th.
Nothing was different around the corner. The Basque fell short on 10, and on the par three of 11 came the height of his desperation when he chained three putts and went from sighing for him birdie to carry him bogey. The defending champion was left behind, desperate and choked in a field that he destroyed last year with -25.
The last slap awaited him in his paradise. In the 13 times he had played the par-five 14th hole at the Spanish Open, he had never even made par: nine. birdies and four eagles. A steamroller. But this time, even. And of course, upon failing a putt short after visiting the bunker. If she even skated there, there was nothing more to talk about, and the last four holes, 15 to 18, were a movie on repeat. More failures.
“Rarely in my career has it happened to me to throw so many good putts and not put any. Golf is what it is,” lamented Rahm. It was a message for all those who practice this sport. For this Saturday, the rain forecast may toughen conditions. And the Basque clings to a resurrection: “I’m at eight, it can be cut. If I get close to -10, on Sunday I will have a good option.”
Results of the second day of the Acciona Open of Spain.
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