Jon Rahm says this part of U.S. Open broadcast ‘absolutely burned’ him

Jon Rahm speaks to the media at the U.S. Open, a day before he withdrew.

Jon Rahm speaks to the media at the U.S. Open, a day before he withdrew.

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In 2021, Jon Rahm won the U.S. Open. But on Sunday, just like you, he was watching on TV.

Rahm said he had a lesion between his fourth and pinkie toes that became infected during LIV Golf’s Houston event the weekend before the U.S. Open. He withdrew from the tournament but showed up at Pinehurst No. 2 hopeful to play. He spoke with the media on Monday, but on Tuesday, he withdrew.

“After consulting with numerous doctors and my team, I have decided it is best for my long term health, to withdraw from this weeks US Open Championship,” Rahm wrote on X. “To say I’m disappointed is a massive understatement!”

So back to Sunday. When Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy were battling down the stretch, Rahm was watching on TV. So, what did he think of being a fan?

For starters, he said he usually watches broadcasts on mute. But he also echoed a common frustration many golf fans share — it’s sometimes extremely difficult to find out where to watch the action, with tournament rounds going from one network to the other and with streaming options — which are sometimes the only option — in between.

“To go from ABC to NBC to Peacock, then back to the next thing, yeah, they should make it a little bit easier,” he said, speaking at this week’s LIV Golf event in Nashville, which Rahm plans to play. “It is an Open after all. Just turn on one channel and hopefully be able to watch the whole broadcast.”

Rahm’s biggest critique, though, came on Rory McIlroy’s decisive par miss on the 72nd hole. Tied with DeChambeau at the time, McIlroy had a par putt of 3 feet, 9 inches on the 18th hole on Sunday. It was above the hole — never where you want to be on the speedy greens of Pinehurst No. 2 — and McIlroy missed. He didn’t play enough break and hit it too softly, as the ball caught the right edge and lipped out. He made bogey. In the pairing behind, DeChambeau made par and won.

“I thought from the times I had it on and I could hear, I thought [the broadcast] was OK,” Rahm said. “One of the things that absolutely burned me, and I think it was Smylie [Kaufman] who said it, he severely underplayed how difficult Rory’s putt on 18 was. When he said it’s a left-center putt, if you hit that putt left-center and miss the hole, you’re off the green because of how much slope there is. You could see Rory aiming at least a cup left from three feet. They severely underplayed how difficult that putt was. Severely.

“I think that can happen a few times where unless you’ve been there on the golf course and you’re playing it or you’ve played it, it’s hard to truly explain how difficult the golf course can be,” he continued. “A lot of times they only have those five seconds to say something quickly, so I also don’t blame them. But besides that, I thought it was good.”

What Rahm was referring to was when Kaufman, the on-course reporter, said seconds before McIlroy struck the putt: “I got behind it, took a read. Not outside the hole. It’s a left-center putt, but you can make it if you start it right in the middle too.”

Although analyst Brandel Chamblee never made it sound so easy.

“Four feet, down the hill, breaking to the right,” he said, after McIlroy chipped up to the spot. “That’s not exactly the 4-footer you want. It got above the hole.”

As for Rahm’s prospects this week, he says he hasn’t been able to do much, but that he feels ready.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’m feeling good. The main reason for the withdrawal the two events was the infection I had and just to be precautionary towards not making it worse and seeing what steps I can take to prevent that from happening in the future. The wound is still there. I’m not going to show any graphic pictures, but it’s still there. It’s manageable now. I’m not going to really make it worse. A lot of things to follow up from what happened to make sure it heals properly and it doesn’t happen again.”

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at

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