Rahm, on a date with hell

The Basque goes out for his first major and number one at the US Open at Winged Foot, a diabolical field that has caused grim situations in the past.


The 2020-2021 course of the PGA Tour officially kicked off last week with the Safeway Open, an anodyne prologue of what will be the true starting gun of the circuit: the US Open (from 6:00 p.m. at Movistar + Golf). Winged Foot, a diabolical field located in the north of the Bronx, in New York, welcomes from this Thursday the first major of a season that is the wet dream of any fan of this sport.

There will be five more greats (the Masters of the previous one postponed by the pandemic and the four of a normal calendar), the Ryder Cup and the Olympic Games, if the virus does not turn everything upside down. Returning to the track, so far it has hosted five editions of the US Open, the last in 2006. Two data rescued by the specialized portal Ten Golf: the one held in 1974, in which the cut was at +13, is known as 'The Winged Foot Massacre', and of the 2,118 cards that have been handed out among all, only 74 (3.49%) were below par, which was 70 strokes four times and 72 on another.

In the hands of the USGA, the American Federation that organizes the event and is famous for its draconian field preparations, conditions can reach Dantean levels. They were already two years ago in Shinnecock Hills, less than a hundred kilometers to the south ("I thought it was going to be difficult, this is a joke," Ian Poulter came to say then) .

Aware of this, Jon Rahm visited the course two weeks ago, before stopping in Atlanta to play the Tour Championship. The Biscayan, who needs at least to be in the top-26 to have options to snatch number one from the intractable Dustin Johnson, says he found "a great campaign." "It is very difficult and it is very hard and very fast. I don't know how I'm going to play it," acknowledges Rahmbo, also in a sweet moment after fighting the entire final stretch of the previous season for the world throne, which he held twice, and winning two tournaments, the Memorial and the BMW Championship, this one already in the circuit playoffs.

Rousaud, a special debutant

With him will be Sergio García, in his 21st participation in this great (five top-10 so far), the Canarian Rafa Cabrera Bello, the Basque Adrián Otaegui, who has entered via the European Tour, and Eduard Rousaud, the second Spaniard to debut as an amateur after Rahm himself.

"I have my feet on the ground. It makes me very excited and I am going to enjoy it and try to learn. But I am not getting upset," says the 20-year-old from Barcelona, who is fifth in the world ranking of fans. Two names are missing from the international roster: Koepka, winner in 2017 and 2018, and Scheffler, one of the best rookies of the year, positive for coronavirus. Tiger, McIlroy, Rose, Thomas, Morikawa or Matsuyama will be from the game.

Photos from as.com
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