SportsThe crowd sees Jon Rahm play, but doesn't play well

The crowd sees Jon Rahm play, but doesn’t play well



“Put on your masks! Silent mobiles! ”. A man with a mustache announces the arrival of the mob. Jon Rahm’s game is coming up. The man with the mustache screams. He works in the organization of the Spanish Golf Open. “The mobiles in silence! That in some you hear the noise when taking a photo! Silence please!”. To scream, the man lowers his mask. As if he were the conductor of an orchestra, he addresses an audience that crowds around the greenAlthough instead of animating his energy he is focused on making the followers look like statues. Then he covers his mouth again and repeats the instructions a few more meters to the right. The scene takes place in hole two of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, and is repeated in the other 17 of the course. Some fans have endured an hour in the midday sun to get a close look at the world’s number one. Rahm’s second hit leaves him a distant option of birdie. Kick. It falls short. Pair. The crowd moves. It moves through the field as a single body. Hole two is deserted. The three is already impossible. Better to shorten to fourth, par five.

Third day of the Spanish Open, the day with the best attendance record so far: 11,929 people, after 8,542 on Thursday and 9,765 on Friday. Most follow Rahm’s every move, who the day before has complained about the noise of the phones (photographs, messages and even calls) as he hits. This time the situation has improved. “Yes much better. We have had more volunteers and it has been noticed. It is little by little to be learning. For many it is the first tournament and they may not even realize it, but from inside the grass you can hear a lot. The public shows, ”explains the Basque.

The fans see their first wish fulfilled: to see Jon Rahm play. Not the second, to see him play well. This time the boy from Barrika does not go out onto the field wearing the suit of the best player in the world. Inspiration has stayed at the box office. After the imperial -8 on Thursday, from -4 on Friday, Rahm signs one over the pair on the day after four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey (hole five, par four), and with -11 he is ninth in the standings, six strokes behind the leader, the Canarian Rafa Cabrera Bello (-17).

Rahm certainly doesn’t get anything. Very out of tune from the start, with a swing unrecognizable, without a trace of his steady hand in the short game. “Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, it was not my best day, we have to admit it. Now I have to hope that tomorrow [este domingo] better start to give me a chance. I’ll do what needs to be done. The main thing is that I will have to do very well, as in the first day, to give myself options. It’s a shame that he played so badly, but in golf there is always another opportunity, ”admitted the defending champion, who sees the option of matching the three laurels in the national championship of Seve Ballesteros fade away.

The Basque was not even happy about the nine second holes, in which he flew in the first round. Bogeys On the 11th and 12th, on the 13th he kicks from outside green and the ball passes over the hole, on 14 you cannot repeat the eagles of the previous days, and does not discount anything in his favorite corner of the field, the par three of the 17.

When he finishes and greets the stands, Rahm is six strokes away from Rafa Cabrera, precisely the second of the Open in the last edition in 2019. The canary is not going through his best moment now, who has lost the American circuit card, but this Saturday shone with its own light (while many looked at Rahm), with seven birdies, attached to the six on Friday. “I missed being in the ointment. I have trusted myself and am enjoying it. The affection of this audience helps me, ”said Cabrera.

Private tables for 15,000 euros

The great challenge of golf in Spain continues to be to shed that label of expensive and elitist sport that has accompanied it for so long. The impulse of projects to bring the game to schools, for example, tries to open a gap in this way.

“The Rahm phenomenon should help us to bring golf to young people”, explains the federative president, Gonzaga Escauriaza; “In addition, we must find the formula of having small facilities, short holes, within the city, to make golf more accessible to everyone.”

Faced with that reality, the other. Golf is still associated with a certain luxury, and this double layer can also be seen at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. As in hole 18. Next to green, some fans watch the last blows of the players from private boxes. In total, there are 105 tables for sale, for six people each, breakfast and lunch included. For the four days of the tournament, the price of each one is 15,000 euros plus VAT.

Classification of the Spanish Open.

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