'Painful' lesion forces former champ out of US Open

'Painful' lesion forces former champ out of US Open

A foot infection has forced Jon Rahm to withdrawn from this weekend’s US Open.

Rahm, a past Masters champion and former world No.1, announced his decision in a social media post. He says he consulted “numerous doctors” and his team and felt this was best in the long run for his golf.

Rahm was already in doubt after the same issue forced him to pull out of the LIV event in Houston over the weekend six holes into the second round.

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“To say I’m disappointed is a massive understatement!” Rahm posted on X. “Hopefully I’ll be back in action as soon as possible.”

Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates after making a putt for birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 US Open.

2021 champion Jon Rahm has pulled out of the US Open with a foot infection. Sean M. Haffey via Getty Images

Rahm, winless since his 2023 victory in the Masters, had finished in the top 10 at every LIV Golf event until his Houston withdrawal.

He arrived at Pinehurst No.2 wearing a sandal on one foot, hopeful antibiotics would allow for it to heal in time for the opening round on Thursday night (AEST). He never even made it onto the golf course.

When asked if he liked his chances this week, given his form and his foot, he said earlier in a press conference: “Anytime I can tee it up, I feel like I have a good chance”.

While he did not reveal what doctors told him, Rahm could have waited until Thursday afternoon local time before deciding whether to play. He was to tee off at 1.36pm in the first round.

In a later interview with the Spanish golf site ten-golf.com, he expressed concern that compensations he would have to make to his swing could lead to problems that would stretch into the rest of the year.

“What’s clear is that if it wasn’t a major, I wouldn’t be here,” he told Spanish media. “The issue is not just the foot, but compensations I make in the swing to avoid pain. I’m worried of causing injury somewhere else and putting my season at risk.

Jon Rahm of Spain walks to the press conference during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 11, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Jon Rahm arrived at Pinehurst wearing a sandal on one foot. Getty

“On the other hand, if it reaches a point that I don’t think I can win, I’m not sure if it’s worth going out to compete.”

He was replaced by Jackson Suber, the first alternate from the Maryland qualifier.

Rahm left the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf last December and was suspended by the PGA Tour, as is the case with all players joining the rival league. He has talked about missing a few of his favourite PGA Tour stops, like Torrey Pines and Riviera, but stressed he’s in a “happy place”.

He narrowly made the cut as the defending champion at the Masters and tied for 45th, and at the PGA Championship last month, he missed a cut in a major for the first time in five years.

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