For the first time so far in 2023, and they have had to go through 22 rounds for it, Jon Rahm showed an earthly, human version on a golf course. Barrika’s man, who has spoiled everyone in recent months, suffered on the second day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in which he signed a card of 76 strokes, four over par for Bay Hill.
Jon’s worst lap so far this year (he only added two laps over par) leaves the Spaniard with a total of -3, six shots behind a Kurt Kitayama who is the provisional leader (-9) to go the end of the day on Friday. After a full first round in which Rahm put fear into the body of all his rivals, placing himself in the lead, today it was the weather forecast that was scaring, with a storm announced throughout the day.
It was a relief for Rahm to start in the morning shift (he left before 8:00 local time), since the wind had not yet kicked in. He couldn’t take advantage of Barrika’s, who had a hard time from the first holes. At 11 (started from 10), Rahmbo’s lead went overboard and he couldn’t save par.
First bogey on Friday, and again the driver didn’t work. Jon confirmed the trend of recent weeks, in which he has been very erratic off the tee (6/14 on fairways today), and made life difficult.
Jon Rahm, results
He visited spots on the Bay Hill course that limited his options on many holes, and on the ones he did hit the fairway he forgave a good handful of putts.
The best news for Rahm is that the irons are still working, and thanks to this he got his first birdie of the day at 14. Later, he chained eight consecutive pairs in which misses with the driver were combined with inaccuracies on the green.
The Spanish was not fine, but without displaying much less the best game of him, he was still embedded in the privileged positions. Very few golfers are capable of it, and it suggests that, if Rahm is able to solve these problems (in this Arnold Palmer is 112th in the statistics of shots gained from the tee), he can be unbeatable.
Far from Rahmbo’s bad moment disappearing, his final round was an important stick. The announced strong gusts of wind began to appear, and Rahm’s day went from bad to worse. He bogeyed to 5 after another mistake at the start, and double bogeyed to 6 after visiting the water for the second time that day (also after hitting the driver).
Jon was desperate, experiencing sensations that he had not experienced for several months. He tried to fix the job with a birdie at 7, again in a par three, but closed the day in the worst possible way with bogeys at 8 and 9.
There is no sport that humanizes as much as golf, and this Friday Rahm showed it . After a first day in which he again proved to be touched by a wand, today the Basque succumbed to the harshness of Bay Hill. Other players like Kurt Kitayama, who sent a warning yesterday, did take advantage of the good conditions at the start of the round.
The American, in the absence of those who start in the afternoon shift finishing their round, is the solo leader with -9 after a lap of four under par. There are also others like Cameron Young (-7), Xander Schauffele, Corey Conners (-6), Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas or Adam Scott (-5). Head positions that Rahm moved away from this Friday, although Jon has two days to fix it.