Jon Rahm has instant success and scheduling conflicts
A year and a week ago, Spaniard Jon Rahm made his professional debut at Quicken Loans National. He opened with a 64 in Congress and tied for third, earning a place in the British Open and putting him on the fast track to secure a PGA Tour card.
The Quicken Loans National takes place this week, and Rahm is in Paris for Roland-Garros.
This raises the question of whether young players who enjoy sponsorship exemptions upon leaving college owe tournaments to reciprocate by playing after establishing themselves. Rahm is already world No. 11.
He also has special circumstances, getting so many things done so quickly that he has scheduling issues that he might not have thought of. The 22-year-old Spaniard wants to play on the European Tour and play in the Ryder Cup, which will take place next year at Golf National, home of the French Open.
“I didn’t have the luxury of having long-term goals at the time,” Rahm said on Tuesday, reflecting on his career anniversary. “So I really got my mindset in the next six events that I was able to play. I knew I had to play my best golf possible. They were really good events and I had to get a minimum of money to be able to get my tour pass. I had no idea my first event was going to play out so well. “
In his fourth event, he finished second with a stroke at the RBC Canadian Open to lock his card. Rahm has also secured exemptions for the Travelers Championship, John Deere Classic and Wyndham Championship, needing a win to be eligible for the FedEx Cup qualifiers.
The schedule was different last year because of the Olympics, and you can’t expect Rahm to play them all this year.
The John Deere is the week before the British Open (Rahm will be in Europe). The Canadian Open is the week between the Open and the World Golf Championships in Firestone, with the PGA Championship just behind. The Wyndham Championship takes place a week after the PGA and a week before the start of the FedEx Cup qualifiers.
“Once I hit January and won at Torrey Pines, everything changed again,” he said. “I entered all the WGCs and major tournaments, so I had to reprogram everything around those tournaments. And luckily for me, winning that opened up the possibility for me to join the European Tour and play here in Europe. . “
Jordan Spieth was in a similar situation, although most of his exemption came earlier in the year.
Without a card on any tour in 2013, Spieth secured a special temporary membership to his second PGA Tour event (Valspar Championship) and completed a card three starts later. He became a full member when he won the John Deere Classic in July.
He got 13 sponsor exemptions in 2013. Spieth returned to nine of those tournaments, including Hilton Head, a week after being a Masters finalist. The four tournaments he didn’t participate in the following year were Puerto Rico (he played a WGC that week at Doral), New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the Greenbrier.
Spieth played in New Orleans this year. He still hasn’t returned to Wells Fargo, which is a timing issue as he has the Players Championship, his two home events in Texas, and the Memorial right after.
SECOND CHANCE: Charley Hoffman’s first good chance to be exempted for the British Open was at Colonial. He started the week 53rd and needed to make the top 50 to secure a spot at Royal Birkdale. He ended up missing three shots when he finished with a 72.
He got his next chance thanks to the last two tournaments.
Hoffman rode without a bogey his last nine at Erin Hills to finish eighth at the US Open, then finished with a 64 at the Travelers Championship for third. It was just enough to move up to No. 20 in the FedEx Cup.
The top five (not already exempt) players of the FedEx Cup top 20 after last week enter the British Open. Hoffman earned 18 points over Canadian rookie Mackenzie Hughes. Brian Harman and Brendan Steele also managed to qualify for the FedEx Cup.
Hughes still has a few more chances. At Quicken Loans National and Greenbrier Classic, four spots are available to players who finish in the top 12.
Meanwhile, five members of the European Tour secured places for the British Open by being in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai – Alexander Levy, Fabrizio Zanotti, Pablo Larrazabal, Dylan Frittelli and David Lipsky.
CADDY BREAK: Paul Casey made a deal with John McLaren when he hired him as a caddy last year, this family was first – for both. Casey can take a break whenever he wants. He is an independent contractor. McLaren’s kids are having a summer vacation and he requested time off last week at the Voyageurs Championship.
But there was more to the deal.
“The only rule was that if Johnny wanted a week off, he wanted to choose who worked for me,” Casey said.
McLaren hired Justin Rose’s youngest son, Mark Fulcher, to work for Casey in Malaysia last fall. And for the Travelers, McLaren chose Shannon Wallis.
Wallis played the part beautifully, and not just because Casey was fifth. McLaren is known as the “Johnny Long Socks” because he wears mid-calf socks, usually with a theme on them. Wallis wore them to TPC River Highlands.
“I love that he channeled his ‘Johnny Long Socks’ this week and came up with long socks to try and make me feel better,” Casey said.
OLD PRIZE: The US Senior Open had only 37 years of history behind it, and yet it offers the oldest trophy awarded by the USGA.
Return to 1894 to the Tuxedo Club in New York, which invited members of Shinnecock Hills, St. Andrews Golf Club and The Country Club to participate in an interclub game. The Country Club returned to Brookline with the trophy – an hourglass-shaped sterling silver cup that remained in the club’s possession until it was turned over to the USGA for display in the 1950s.
When the US Senior Open was first held in 1980 at Winged Foot, the USGA said the Country Club suggested their old trophy be presented to the winner. It was therefore presented by “The Country Club and Golfers of Massachusetts” and named the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy.
Roberto De Vicenzo was the first winner. The USGA produced a replica – with the 1894 Team Brookline engraving – in 1997.
The original trophy has been retired for the second time and is available for viewing at the USGA Museum in New Jersey.
DIVOTS: Scott Hoch has retired from the US Senior Open. He was replaced by Charlie Post, a 69-year-old amateur from Colorado who shot better than his age in qualifying. … Collin Morikawa, who just finished his second year at Cal, finished with a 1-over 70 for a two-stroke victory in the Northeast Amateur at Wannamoisett Country Club. It was the 10th anniversary of Dustin Johnson’s victory in the North East and the 25th anniversary of David Duval’s victory. … The US Senior Open will take place at the Omaha Country Club in 2021 and Saucon Valley in 2022. … Yeon Ryu has therefore become the first player to exceed $ 1 million this season on the LPGA Tour.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Jordan Spieth surpassed $ 30 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. He will be 24 next month.
FINAL WORD: “I was bored. I was frustrated. I was depressed. And I even lost a head. So I thought, “Hey, I’m a golfer again. “” – Nick Faldo, playing in his first US Senior Open.