Is anyone capable of stopping Jon Rahm?
The new world No. 1 poured it on again Friday at the European Tour’s Scottish Open, going out in 29 and opening up a one-shot lead at the Renaissance Club.
Rahm has been on a heater over the past two months, tying for eighth at the PGA Championship, running away with the Memorial before an untimely withdrawal because of COVID-19, and then storming from behind to win the U.S. Open.
After a brief break to celebrate with friends and family in Arizona, Rahm has stayed hot overseas, opening up with rounds of 66-65 to take the clubhouse lead in the final event before the Open Championship.
Starting his second round on the 10th hole, Rahm birdied the opener and then ripped off birdies on Nos. 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18, turning in 29. He added a birdie on the first hole to surge in front.
“It was unbelievable,” said Justin Thomas, who was grouped with Rahm. “He very realistically could have shot 9 under on the front nine. It was pretty impressive.”
Indeed, Rahm said he played “perfect golf” over the first 10 holes and took advantage of a defenseless course with no wind. When the breeze picked up early on the front nine, Rahm had to adjust his starting lines and made a few mistakes, dropping shots on Nos. 2 and 4, but he minimized the damage as much as possible. He added a birdie on the seventh hole to finish off his 65 and post 11-under 131, one shot clear after the early wave.
“I think everything can get a little bit better,” Rahm said. “The first 10 holes, I played perfect golf, and after that, a couple tee shots and maybe more than anything, decision-making. Meaning, that if you’re ever in-between clubs or you don’t see a shot or you’re not comfortable, step back and commit to a shot. That’s important in a tournament and on a golf course where conditions are ever-changing.”