Jon Rahm didn’t get off to a good start at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday.
He started with a double bogey on the first par-4 due to an unplayable lie in a bunker on the right side of the fairway. His drive hit the trap, but his second shot landed in the face. This is similar to what happened to Viktor Hovland on the 16th hole at Oak Hill during the 2023 PGA Championship.
Two holes after that incident, Rahm made another bogey, dropping the race for the championship to three over. Weekends are becoming more and more difficult to spend.
But Rahm bounced back with authority. He shot a 5-under 67, leaving him at 6 under after 36 holes.
“It’s weird what’s really going on in a player’s mind, isn’t it?” Rahm said after the round. “None of my swings felt bad. If anything, the shot off the tee is the important choice. The 6-iron didn’t feel too bad. It was just an unfortunate thing that happened. And… Every swing on No. 3 felt good.”
Despite a tough break in the first three holes, Rahm was in good shape on Friday.
He made a beautiful eagle on the par-5 fourth and sunk 20 feet for birdie on the par-4 ninth.
“I told Adam. [my caddy]”If I can get back to even par by the 10th, I could still get 2, 3, 4 under, that’s very likely,” Rahm added.
“And after making the putt on nine and playing a great back nine, I was able to do that and it gave me a little bit of confidence.”
Rahm had three birdies in his first five holes while pistoning around on the backside. He then finished with two consecutive birdies, giving him plenty of confidence heading into the weekend and the Ryder Cup in two weeks.
“It’s always good to have a big event right before the Ryder Cup,” Rahm said. “And if we succeed [playing at] That way I can go into the Ryder Cup with more confidence. ”
On Friday, Rahm hit 7 of 12 fairways, giving him a chance to play well at Wentworth, a course where finding the short grass off the tee is key.
The rough along these fairways is thick and heavy, even more so this year due to Britain’s wet summer.
“You just have to put it in the fairway, right?” Rahm said. “Once you get out of position, it’s pretty easy to make a bogey, especially on a hole like No. 3.”
“So, if you look at my stats after the fourth hole, I think I was pretty good and pretty consistent. I had some mishits off the tee that were in the fairway, which left me with a good chance.”
The fact that Rahm had some mishits but still had a chance speaks volumes about his confidence. That could create difficulties for Americans in Italy within two weeks.