Jon Rahm nearly hits mic operator with flung club, later shanks shot at Memorial

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Jon Rahm has had a lot of success at Muirfield Village, winning the Memorial Tournament in 2020 and nearly doing the same a year ago.

But since walking off the 18th green on Saturday in '21, things have not gone well – at this venue – for the world No. 2.

Rahm led by six strokes through 54 holes last year, before being informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would have to withdraw. Upon his return this year, Rahm opened in even-par 72, complete with three bogeys and a double bogey.

On Friday, Rahm had a faux paus and a foul ball.

Playing the par-4 11th, his second hole of the day, Rahm was disappointed with his approach shot and flung his iron, nearly hitting an on-course microphone operator. Rahm apologized immediately and the woman was heard saying, “It’s OK.”

After making the turn in 1 under for the day, Rahm’s approach shot at the par-4 second wasn’t pleasing, either. In fact, it was a shank.

From 191 yards, Rahm’s second shot went dead right. He eventually made bogey, but birdied the next hole on his way to a 2-under 70. Rahm said after his round that he isn't comfortable with his swing and the shank was a direct result of that.

"Absolutely. Absolutely. Ball below my feet, uncomfortable shot, wind. And tried to drive it in low and didn't clear at all. Full of indecision. It was a recipe for disaster. Could have been either green-side bunker or short, and ended up being worse," he said.

"I did get lucky with what happened. I was able to save a bogey, which was minimizing the mistake. I thought it was going out of bounds, and I was staring at a 7."

If there was anything positive from the day, Rahm did manage to amuse Justin Thomas, who has had his share of shanks during tournament rounds.