The Open: Rahm still believes he can launch comeback

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021

Jon Rahm still believes he has a chance to win the Open Championship, though warned a famous comeback will be tougher to achieve than it was at the U.S. Open.

A third-round 68 from Rahm left him at seven under for the tournament, five shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen going into the final day.

Rahm charged from behind to win his first major at the expense of Oosthuizen last month but the pre-tournament favourite knows he needs to produce something close to perfection to repeat the feat.

Collin Morikawa is one shot behind Oosthuizen, while Jordan Spieth is at nine under with Corey Conners and Scottie Scheffler, both in search of maiden majors, also sitting ahead of Rahm on eight under.

"I believe I can do it, yeah," said Rahm. "I've been playing really good golf. Believe it or not [on Friday] I shot 64 and I left a few out there. I played really good golf. 

"[On Saturday] I made a couple of mistakes off the fairway that cost me a few. Maybe a couple of shots where I got a little bit quick through the process and it cost me a shot.

"Missed both greens on my second shots at 1 and 13, two moments where if I could go back I could have given myself a better chance.

"So I'm going to have to eliminate those little mistakes on Sunday and hopefully start strong. If I can shoot under par in the first five holes that will be stealing a couple of strokes on the rest of the field. 

"So start that strong and play the rest of the course that way I have, I'll give myself a chance.

"Hopefully I'm not too far away. I know I did make a comeback at the U.S. Open, but I feel like three shots in the U.S. Open are not that much, right? Bogeys can happen and I showed that it can be made up. 

"Now on this golf course, if I'm that far away, I'm going to possibly need a little bit more wind than we had.

"If not, I'm going to need a really good round of golf, if [the weather] is like it has been I will need something close to record-breaking stuff. 

"I need something around 63, 64 to be able to give myself a chance because I'm guessing somebody else in front of me will come out to shoot possibly three, four, or five under and get far away."

Rahm was happier with his 68 once he saw many others had struggled to score low, citing how difficult the pin positions had been.

He added: "Really good round. Played good golf. 

"I had some really good highlights - because of the weather conditions it's easy to think it could have been a little bit better, but the pin locations were no joke. 

"I don't know if on TV you could appreciate it, but those are some of hardest pin locations collectively I've ever seen. 

"On a golf course that's not easiest it can get tricky. The scores show it, two under is a much better round than I thought it was for a while."

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    Steve Stricker has ruled out captaining the United States for a second time after the record 19-9 Ryder Cup victory over Europe at Whistling Straits.

    The USA dominated Europe, winning by the biggest margin in the competition's history to regain the trophy on Sunday.

    It was a dream three days for Stricker in his home state of Wisconsin as his side showed why they were such strong favourites.

    The USA will travel to the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome for the 2023 event, but Stricker says they will have a different captain.

    Asked about retaining the role, he said: "I don't think it's going to happen. It's mapped out and there's guys in positions to be the next captains.

    "It was an unbelievable experience, don't get me wrong; I'm glad it's over."

    Stricker paid tribute to his "special" team after such a phenomenal performance.

    He said: "It was a special week all the way around. I don't know what else to say, and I've said it a number of times all week long and how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round.

    "I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. So a lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. They have up with each other. It's a special group of guys."

    He added: "It was just putting them out there in a position. The assistant captains and I talked a bunch with Tiger [Woods] on there, as well. And they're just so talented. Their average world ranking is 8.9. That's unheard of. Out of 12 guys.

    "So it was really just getting out of their way; what I feel like. Let them go. Provide an atmosphere and camaraderie that they enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. And they all want to win, and it showed and they prepared for it.

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  • Ryder Cup: Europe dethroned in record manner but Harrington can't fault players Ryder Cup: Europe dethroned in record manner but Harrington can't fault players

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    Harrington's Team Europe were no match for hosts USA, dethroned following a record-breaking 19-9 defeat in Wisconsin on Sunday.

    USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin, surpassing the previous 18.5 - 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

    Europe were outclassed from the outset and Steve Stricker's USA sealed victory in just the fifth match of the scheduled 12 singles showdowns on the final day.

    Team Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme and despite the heavy defeat, Harrington could not fault his players.

    "I was not aware of it until it became close," Harrington said of USA's record-winning margin. "And then I did actually have to ask. I was involved in the last two that were records [grimacing] but on the right side of it.

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  • Ryder Cup: Stricker hails 'special' Team USA after record-breaking victory Ryder Cup: Stricker hails 'special' Team USA after record-breaking victory

    Steve Stricker lauded Team USA's "special group" after the United States captain oversaw a record-breaking 19-9 win over Europe.

    USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin on Sunday, surpassing the previous 18.5 to 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

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    After hoisting the cup aloft in front of a passionate crowd at Whistling Straits, Stricker hailed his team.

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    Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial team event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme.

    Stricker added: "This didn't start just two weeks ago. This started months ago. For me, three years ago two, and a half years ago. It's been on my mind ever since I was announced to be captain two and a half years ago.

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    Dustin Johnson led a star-studded United States with a 5-0 record throughout the Ryder Cup and Stricker continued: "I could see it in these guys' eyes last night when we left here, the course, after just saying a couple words, I could tell they felt like there was unfinished business, and they came out and they were ready today.

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