World No. 2 golfer looks like weekend hacker during total debacle on the green


Any golfer loves to get their round off to a solid start. A good showing on the first hole can give you confidence to have a great round.

Well, if the first hole is any indication of how Jon Rahm will play Saturday in the third round of the World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship, it could be a very long day for the Spaniard.

Rahm was sitting on the back fringe of the green after two shots on the par-4 opening hole, roughly 15 feet away from the cup.

He used a putter for his third shot, with the ball tucked against the collar of the second cut of rough. The shot came out fast, rolled to the right of the cup and about four feet past the hole.


Rahm misjudged the speed on his par putt, as well as the line, as the ball slid past the hole to his left, and nearly as far past the hole as his previous shot.

Now looking at bogey, Rahm again slid the ball past the outside of the cup, leaving himself another three-footer for double bogey.

The fourth time was the charm for the world’s second-ranked golfer, tapping in for a double-bogey six.

Do you think Jon Rahm should be ranked among the world's best golfers?

Rahm didn’t just look like a typical weekend hacker with his foibles on the 1st green, he looked like a 4-year-old on their first trip to a putt-putt course.

But the difference between a weekend hacker and one of the world’s best is their ability to bounce right back and put their previous miscues behind them. Rahm proved just that by hitting a perfect tee shot on No. 2, which set him up for a birdie

Rahm, who started Saturday’s third round at 4-under par and in a tie for 20th place in the event, added another bogey on the eighth hole to finish his front nine at two-under par. That dropped him to 32nd place as he made the turn in his third round.

Rahm finished the day with a 1-under par 70. He will begin Sunday’s final round in 21st place, eight shots off the lead.

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Rahm isn’t the only elite golfer to suffer the embarrassment of needing four putts this year.

Last month at the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Justin Thomas — then ranked No. 4 in the world — four-putted the raucous but rather tame 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale. It came after Thomas put his drive on the par-3 on the green, but needed four putts to cover the final 30 feet.

Rahm and Thomas have a long way to go to match arguably the worst putting debacle in professional golf.

That happened on the opening hole of the 2016 Masters, when Hall of Fame golfer Ernie Els needed six putts to hole out from two feet away, giving him a nine on the par-4 first hole and effectively ending any chance he had at even making the cut for that event, let alone winning.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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