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NAPA, Calif. – Jon Rahm will enter next week’s Ryder Cup after having a rare weekend off.
The World No. 1 missed the cut at the Fortinet Championship, the season-opening event on the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season. Rahm posted 1-under 71 at Silverado Resort & Spa’s North Course, missing the 36-hole cut by two strokes and 11 strokes behind Maverick McNealy, the leader at the midway point. It marked Rahm’s first missed cut since the Wells Fargo Championship in May, just his second of the calendar year and 13th in 113 career starts.
“It’s very simple, not my best ball-striking-wise,” said Rahm, who hit just 11 of 28 greens in regulation through 36 holes. “Still wasn’t bad. Could have been better on the greens, you know. Feel like I might have made a couple of mistakes mentally on some approach shots, maybe I could have focused a little more, visualized better, but I think I left a lot of shots on the greens.”
Rahm ranked 113th out of 156 in Strokes Gained: Putting, losing slightly more than a stroke and a half to the field on the greens. He barely cracked 100 feet of putts made for 36 holes.
“The back nine, starting on 10, I hit a lot of good putts, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17. Maybe I didn’t have the speed, but a lot of them were very close and they just didn’t go in. And yesterday I didn’t make enough putts, I feel like I left a lot of them inside 10 feet,” he said. “Make a couple others and at least I’m making the cut, maybe a momentum change and I finish a little better. It’s unfortunate to start the year with basically one of my worst Tour rounds in a while. It’s what it is. Course was tough out there today and just need to be better.”
Rahm’s week began inauspiciously with a stomach ailment on Wednesday that kept him from competing in the pro-am.
“I feel like with having those stomach issues early, I wasn’t nearly as rested as I could have been, my body got a little bit tight, but I’m feeling good today,” he said.
Rahm said part of the reason he came to the Napa tournament was to get out of the heat of his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, where the courses are heavily watered. But he was scheduled to head there before joining Team Europe on Monday for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
“If anything, I get to rest a couple extra days and be able to figure out what’s going on with my swing, which technically is not really anything bad,” he said. “It’s just I think a lot of those swings were made to look worse because of how tough it is out there. It’s firm, it’s fast, the fairways are hard to hit. I just maybe didn’t hit the shot sometimes. I just feel I could have been rewarded a little bit more, that’s about it.”
Other notables to miss the cut included: Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Na and 2019 winner Cameron Champ.