It was a mirage among the dunes of Kiawah Island, the field where the PGA Championship is held, the second big of the season. Jon Rahm started on the bike, with two birdies in the first two holes he played (10 and 11 in this case), the second a par five that he used to make good use of. It seemed the promise of a day of recovery after the suffering pair of the first day, when the Basque rolled up his sleeves with the short game, imprecise from the start, so as not to get off the hook in the first round. It was time to change gears and hit the gas, and those two blows discounted in a blink of an eye boosted him to the top positions as soon as the round started. But … was that, a mirage. The arreón was followed by five pairs in a row, which is not bad news, but when par three arrived on the 17th, his optimism took a bath of reality. Literally.
Rahm’s ball ended up in the water, charged with the penalty and ended up putting a double in his backpack bogey after a putt failed that punched him back to the starting square. Worse still, because with a crooked gesture he visited the rough with the second hit of 18 and rounded the corner at mid-range with another bogey. The lap that had started so well on the first two holes broke down in the last two of that half of the course. Rahm no longer raised his head but also carried two other bogeys in the second half, on holes four and seven (a par five, again a lagoon on his route), in which the deviated peephole made him walk through those strange bunkers on this course and the putt did not save the ballot.
With three over par, Rahm sees the head a long way off, which is paced by a surprising Phil Mickelson (50 years old) at minus five. The Basque saved the cut, not so Sergio García, who again said goodbye to a great before the weekend, with +6, just like the world number one, Dustin Johnson.