Jon Rahm just did something he hadn’t done in 34 rounds
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — The joyous crowd at Riviera Country Club was so pleased when Jon Rahm made his 6-foot par putt on 18 on Friday evening. They erupted when the putt dropped, largely because it had also been awhile since they saw a putt of any consequence drop.
It was a putt to make the cut, ensuring Rahm a couple weekend rounds. All good, right? What the crowd surrounding the 18th didn’t know was that ultimately, this was the culmination of disappointment for Rahm. For the first time in seven months, he shot a round over par on the PGA Tour.
Rahm’s 73 is his first round worse than par since the first round of the 2021 Open Championship. The golf world was made aware of this mark of consistency thanks to Justin Ray, golf stats guru. Rahm’s two-over round ended a streak of 34 rounds at par or better, the longest such streak in the past 19 years, per Ray.
Only Charles Howell (34), Vijay Singh (34), David Ogrin (35), Fred Funk (38) and Tiger Woods (52) have had equal or better streaks of par-or-better rounds on the PGA Tour. To no surprise, Woods’ came during his epic 2000-2001 stretch, when he won all four major championships.
As for Rahm, the 27-year-old Spaniard had been a similar bastion for consistency in the past few years, winning on all kinds of courses across the world, but also rarely slipping up along the way. His results to begin 2022 — 2nd, T14, T3, T10 — are merely a continuation of what he did in 2021, when he contended for the PGA Tour Player of the Year crown and finished in the top 25 a preposterous 18 times in 22 starts.
If there’s a cause for blame, Rahm’s putter is the main antagonist this week. Through two rounds, he’s second-to-last in Strokes Gained: Putting of the 75 players who made the cut. That clutch 6-footer he made on 18 only followed the balky touch he showed from the fringe. Something is amiss with his putting, but he didn’t stick around to talk to the press about it. Couple that with his ranking 74th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, and it’s a formidable foe to a great driving week.
With daylight running thin, Rahm cruised up the stairway behind the 18th. Minutes later, after signing his scorecard, he was headed back down the stairs, and straight to the practice range.