PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Jon Rahm hasn’t had too many bad days since he turned pro last summer and established himself as a rising star.
Saturday at The Players Championship was one to forget.
When the 22-year-old from Spain walked off the seventh green with a four-putt double bogey, he already was 7-over par for the third round. He walked off the Players Stadium Course with an 82. His previous high score this year was a 75.
“I made a lot of good swings and I just kept getting bad breaks, or not what I hoped for and it was just … I kept getting pounded and pounded,” Rahm said.
He started the third round five shots out of the lead, poised to move into contention for the richest tournament in golf.
He ended it by missing the 54-hole cut.
He thought the worst was behind him when he finished the back nine with a birdie, hit a good tee shot off the 10th and posed on his second shot, only to see it roll off the back of the green. He chipped up to 4 feet and three-putted from there for yet another double bogey.
“And I kept just getting pounded more into the ground,” Rahm said. “It was not the best day I’ve had, let’s put it that way.”
It was rare day for Rahm.
He turned pro after the U.S. Open — he was exempt as the No. 1 amateur in the world — and then made enough money to earn a PGA Tour card in just four starts, highlighted by a tie for third in his pro debut at the Quicken Loans National and a runner-up finish in the RBC Canadian Open.
Already this year, he won at Torrey Pines, made a bold rally that came up short against Dustin Johnson in the Mexico Championship, lost in the championship match to Johnson at the Dell Technologies Match Play, and finished one shot out of a playoff last week at the Wells Fargo Championship.
He already is No. 12 in the world, though he won’t be making up much ground this week.
And he wasn’t in the mood for this to be any time of learning experience.
“There’s nothing … very few good things coming out of today, so nothing else I can do,” Rahim said.
Typical of this tournament, and this golf course, he didn’t see it coming. Rahm said he didn’t have a problem with his three shots on the par-5 second hole and wound up with a bogey. A bad lie from the rough on the par-3 third led to another bogey. That was followed by a mini-meltdown on No. 4, which started with an iron off the tee that was shoved so far right it went into the water.
Asked about slamming his 4-iron into the turf after he hit his third shot short of the water fronting the green, Rahm replied, “I don’t know what good can come from talking about that.”
And then he spoke briefly about it, that it was all the anger pent up from his tee shot and the way his opening four holes had gone.
Even though he was tied for 10th going into the weekend, there was a 54-hole cut on Saturday because more than 78 players (82) had made the 36-hole cut. Rahm still had a chance to advance to Sunday when he fired an approach into 18 feet for a rare birdie chance on the 18th hole.
He missed the putt.