‘One of the greatest breaks I’ve seen’: Jon Rahm gets a miracle 

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm on Friday on the 17th hole at Riviera Country Club.

Jon Rahm was well aware of what followed after his ball hit the base of a grandstand on Friday. After all, thanks to the world wide web, he is somewhat of an expert in the field. 

“I’ve seen compilations on YouTube of very lucky breaks, and some of those are pretty impressive,” he said. “Somebody pull-hooked a tee shot on a par-3, hit the tree and went in the hole. I think it was European Tour. I think it was Robert Rock. It was like a par-5 way right, looked like an old — somewhere in Europe, it looked like Italy or Portugal, like an old Roman bridge. His ball ricochets 40 yards right of the green. ends up 10 feet, he makes eagle. Obviously these things happen. They’re not common, but they happen.

“But I haven’t seen anything live like this.”

A couple things here. First, we think we’ve found the video, it’s called “Top 10 Lucky Breaks on the European Tour,” and it’s great. (We googled ‘lucky breaks golf Robert Rock.’) On it, somebody did pull-hook a tee shot on a par-3, the ball did hit a tree and it did go in the hole — the somebody was James Kingston, at the 2002 Alfred Dunhill Championship, and it was ‘lucky break’ No. 1. The Rock shot, hit during the Estoril Open de Portugal, is No. 9. 

Then there’s Rahm.

His ball, hit with a 7-wood, from 270 yards out on the par-5 17th hole at Riviera Country Club, hit that base of the grandstand, which was about 25 yards past the hole. 

His ball took two bounces backward. 

His ball rolled onto the green. 

His ball finished 3 feet away. Rahm made that for an eagle three, and he pulled into a then-share of the lead during the second round of the Genesis Invitational

“What a break,” analyst Curt Byrum said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “Look at this shot. Thank you.” 

“Holy mackerel,” analyst Arron Oberholser said.  

“One of the best breaks I’ve ever seen,’ analyst Brandel Chamblee said on Golf Channel’s Golf Central after the round. “I mean, there was a lot of great golf today, but one of the greatest breaks I’ve seen. If he goes on to win, this may well be one of the quirkiest shots of the year. May go down as the luckiest shot of the year.” 

Then there’s Rahm. 

In the moment, his face said it all. It was covered by his right hand. He had gotten a lucky break, too. 

The play was a left-to-right cut, avoiding a tree about 100 yards in front of him, but his ball flared. He probably should have had a tight chip back to the hole. But you know those putts that touch a pebble? Or those iron shots that bounce off the stick? Or those drives that land in a pitch mark? 

The ricochet to 3 feet was just a way of things evening out. When someone says, that’s golf, this is what they also speak of.

“Obviously I got very fortunate to get that bounce not only to go on the green, but to have basically three feet straight up the hill, that’s arguably the best bounce I’ve seen in person my whole golf career and it would be hard to beat in the future,” said Rahm, who bogeyed 18 and will start Saturday one shot back of leader Max Homa. “For those wondering, no, did I not call bank. I don’t think anybody calls bank in that situation.”  

A reporter then asked him what it all looked like on replay.  

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“No, I saw it live,” he said. “It doesn’t really change anything, right? When you get something like that, because obviously the shot wasn’t my best, and had the grandstands not been there, I would have had a very difficult up and down. Not that it’s impossible, but it would have been very difficult. 

“There’s almost a little hint of embarrassment because come on, that is very, very lucky, but I feel like as golfers, we get plenty of bad breaks in our lifetime. To get one of those, we should cherish it because I won’t see something like this in a long time.”

One last question. 

Back to that video.

“You must be really excited about the next time you watch a compilation that you might actually be in it?” 

“I will be in it, yeah,” Rahm said. “I hope it’s in it. If anything beats that, I’ll be very surprised.”

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