Wild drives, a stolen golf ball and completely satisfied end for Rahm


BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Jon Rahm started his U.S. Open title protection with a 1-under 69, a strong rating Thursday at The Country Club that ended with a par and a birdie.

His remaining two holes had a little bit extra pleasure that numbers alone can reveal.

Rahm pulled his driver on the par-4 seventeenth gap and stated to his caddie, Adam Hayes, “That might be out-of-bounds.” There’s no OB, however the ball may have been misplaced or unplayable, and the stroke-and-distance penalty the identical.

The caddie marked up one other ball and handed it to him. The second one was extra of a hook. Hayes reached for an additional ball.

At that time, Rahm would have been hitting his fifth shot. But he noticed a marshal lastly signaled the ball was secure. Rahm’s first ball was in play, he hit wedge out of the tough to 12 toes and missed the birdie putt.

“I fully know how lucky I got on that hole, and I tried to take advantage to make a birdie, but I’ll take the 4 and run any day of the week,” Rahm stated.

The subsequent gap was much more entertaining. He hit one other hook, this one disappearing over the fence towards the tv compound. Spotters discovered the ball below the tent, after which it was gone. Turns out two youngsters grabbed it and off they went.

“I’m pretty sure I know who it was. I recognized the two kids that were running the opposite way with a smile on their face,” he stated. “I am 100% sure I saw the two kids that stole it.”

He was simply completely satisfied the ball was seen within the first place. Rahm acquired aid from the TV tent and luck saved coming his method when he took his drop. The tough wasn’t very thick and Rahm solely had 125 yards to cowl the bunker in entrance of the inexperienced.

“I don’t think they expected anybody to hit it there or be around there, so I was able to drop it in an area that was a little down grain, and I wasn’t in jeopardy of carrying the bunker,” he stated.

It ended with a 12-foot birdie putt and a fist pump. Quite the end.

“If that doesn’t scream to you it’s the Open,” then nothing will, he stated. “Sometimes you play good golf and can’t get things going and sometimes you get a break.”

MAJOR DEBUT

MJ Daffue by no means may have imagined the 12 months would have gone this manner, a lot much less a 67 within the opening spherical of the U.S. Open, his first main.

Not after beginning the 12 months sick from the coronavirus in January.

The South African was was the seventh-to-last participant to get into the primary Korn Ferry Tour occasion within the Bahamas. He tied for fifteenth. A month later, he had consecutive prime 10s. And when he successive prime 3s, he had secured sufficient factors for the South African to earn a PGA Tour card subsequent season.

And then it acquired even higher.

Daffue (pronounced “Duffy”) shared medalist honors in U.S. Open qualifying in Springfield, Ohio. On Thursday, he made six birdies at The Country Club.

“I think now I’ve finally this week probably started feeling the freedom,” he stated. “I secured my card next year, and maybe I can go for a few more things that I would never have.”

It was an extended highway to the PGA Tour, even the U.S. Open, however he figures the laborious occasions acquired him right here. The biggest classes come from all of the Monday qualifying he can undergo for tour occasions.

“It really taught me to make a lot of birdies,” he stated. “I’ve translated that into my game. I would say I’ve been shooting pretty good scores for a while, and they’ve been telling me just keep your head down and keep shooting good scores, and eventually it’s good enough.”

It actually was on Thursday on the Open.

SICK BAY

Jordan Spieth had a abdomen bug Wednesday and minimize brief his remaining day of follow. He did make it to the tee Thursday and had extra pleasure contained in the ropes than he wanted.

Spieth had two pars, three birdies and 4 bogeys on the entrance 9. He took bogey on No. 10, and when he cashed in for birdie on he seventeenth, he gave that shot again on the closing gap for 72.

He declined interview requests, saying he was drained.

Patrick Cantlay additionally had restricted follow recovering from an sickness. He additionally shot 72.

INS AND OUTS

Abraham Ancer withdrew Thursday morning due to sickness, making him the one participant to withdraw in the course of the week. He was changed by Patton Kizzire.

Next in line as alternate was Rickie Fowler, who by no means acquired into the U.S. Open. Fowler nonetheless attracted a crowd of tv cameras, primarily from providing to talk to a Lee Elder Foundation scholarship group between the morning and afternoon waves.

Fowler had performed in 10 consecutive U.S. Opens. He now has missed every of the final two years.

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