Rahm back in contention after Royal Liverpool course record 63 at British Open
HOYLAKE, England (AP) — The hug Jon Rahm gave his parents after he finished his round at the British Open on Saturday was much better than the one he gave them the day before.
On Friday, he struggled just to make the cut. This time he shot the lowest round ever at Royal Liverpool at the Open to get back in contention to win the pitcher of Bordeaux. He will enter the final round in third place, six strokes behind leader Brian Harman.
“Today wasn’t a consolation hug,” Rahm said after an 8-under 63 that was his best round in any major. “Days like these are great fun.”
It was a stark contrast to the frustration of the first two days. Rahm left Hoylake upset over his misfires and complains about the number of people who got in his way while he played with Rory McIlroy.
“I played good golf and knew what I was capable of,” Rahm said. “I was frustrated because of… the mistakes I made. I gave up on beatings during major championships which are very expensive, and that’s mainly that. That’s how I felt. »
It was different on Saturday.
Rahm started the day at 2 over par, 12 shots behind leader Brian Harman at the time. The Spaniard had eight birdies and no bogeys, shooting 30 on the back nine. By the time he completed his round, which he called the best ever on a links course, Rahm was just four shots off the lead.
Royal Liverpool was the only course in the modern rotation that had not scored below 65 until Saturday.
“The job today was to go out and give myself the best chance possible. Every time you get a birdie, think one more. That’s just all you can do,” Rahm said. “I did what I needed to, which was give me a chance.”
With the rough not too long, Rahm said his game plan was to use the driver off the tee as often as possible to try and avoid penalizing bunkers on the fairways.
“I was very comfortable off the tee,” he said. “When you’re comfortable off the tee, it’s very easy to stay aggressive.”
Rahm said it was one of those days where he could execute whatever he visualized before his shots.
“It doesn’t happen often when you see those shots coming out the way they’re supposed to and putting them in the places you’re supposed to,” Rahm said. “You see everything unfold the way it’s supposed to unfold, and it’s very unusual.”
It could have gone even better, as Rahm had other good looks for birdies but couldn’t convert them, especially on the front nine.
The world No. 3 hit a 6-footer to save par in the eighth, then birdied his next four holes to launch on the back nine.
One of the highlights of his round was a 34-foot putt he made for a birdie on the par-4 16. He also drained a 22-footer on the ninth hole and a 12-footer for his last birdie of the day on the par-5 18th.
Rahm won the Masters in April for his second major title and leads the tour with four wins this season. He came to Royal Liverpool after a break after missing out on the Travelers Championship cut almost a month ago.
A win at Hoylake would put him alongside Seve Ballesteros as the only Spaniards to win the Open. Ballesteros won in 1979, 1984 and 1988.
Rahm was asked how he felt becoming the first Spaniard to shoot 63 and do something even great Ballesteros haven’t done in a major.
“I’d rather win three times and never shoot 63,” Rahm said.
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