Major winner's astonishing reason for odd swing

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Jon Rahm arrived astatine Royal St. George's arsenic a newly-crowned large champion with the accidental to articulation an elite radical of players who person won golf's 2 oldest championships successful the aforesaid year.

Yet, successful 1 way, Rahm already is precise different.

In a revelation connected Tuesday up of the British Open, Rahm said determination was a crushed for his unusually abbreviated backswing, and it couldn't beryllium further from the theories helium has heard that the Spaniard has "tight hips."

"I was calved with a nine ft connected my close leg," said Rahm, who was anxious to instrumentality the accidental to uncover overmuch more.

Jon Rahm astatine the British Open (Getty)

"My close limb up to the ankle was straight, my ft was 90 degrees turned wrong and fundamentally upside down," helium said.

"So erstwhile I was born, they fundamentally relocated it, beauteous overmuch broke each bony successful the ankle and I was casted wrong 20 minutes of being calved from the genu down. I deliberation each week I had to spell backmost to the infirmary to get re-casted."

His close leg, Rahm said, is simply a centimetre and a fractional shorter than his left, meaning helium has reduced mobility and stableness successful his close ankle. Hence the abbreviated plaything which helium learned astatine a young age, a plaything that has propelled him to being the world's champion golfer going into the last large of the year.

"Don't effort to transcript me," helium said. "Don't effort to transcript immoderate plaything retired there. Just plaything your swing."

It's unique, and it works.

Rahm won his archetypal large rubric astatine the US Open astatine Torrey Pines past month, lifting him backmost to No. 1 successful the satellite ranking for the archetypal clip since August 2020. He fell backmost to No.2 this week down Dustin Johnson, though determination is nary doubting who's successful the champion form.

In his past 4 starts dating to the PGA Championship successful May, Rahm won the US Open, has 2 apical 10s and had a six-shot pb done 54 holes astatine the Memorial erstwhile helium had to retreat due to the fact that of a affirmative COVID-19 test.

There was a consciousness of alleviation astatine yet becoming a large champion — "I felt similar for the amended portion of 5 years, each I heard is major, major, major," Rahm said — but it hasn't altered his determination and absorption heading to the southbound of England, wherever he'll beryllium playing astatine Royal St. George's for the archetypal clip since 2009.

That was the British Boys championship, and it was his archetypal ever tourney connected a links course.

"There's inactive the adjacent 1 to win," Rahm said, "so I inactive travel with the aforesaid level of excitement evidently and willingness to win."

A triumph would spot him go the archetypal subordinate since Tiger Woods successful 2000 to triumph the US Open and British Open successful the aforesaid year. With lone Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones having besides done so, Rahm would beryllium joining rather the pantheon.

He was preparing connected Tuesday to get his archetypal due look astatine the course, with its rolling, undulating fairways that tin propulsion the shot dramatically offline and its unsmooth that has been made thicker and greener by dense rainfall that ruined Rahm's hopes of a signifier circular connected Monday evening.

He had arrived successful Sandwich a fewer hours earlier, lone to get held up initially by coronavirus investigating that is portion of the strict protocols demanded by the R&A connected players for an lawsuit wherever 32,000 spectators volition beryllium attending regular from Thursday.

Brooks Koepka, the satellite No.8 and a accordant contender astatine majors, played the beforehand 9 nether a gray, threatening entity aboriginal Tuesday and wasn't peculiarly impressed with a people that is unloved by galore others, too.

"It's not my favourite venue that we've played," Koepka said, referring to the 10 links courses connected the British Open rotation.

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"Quite a fewer unsighted tee shots, benignant of hitting to nothing," the four-time large champion added. "Fairways are rather undulating. I don't know, it's not my favourite of the rotation, enactment it that way."

Tommy Fleetwood, runner-up to Shane Lowry astatine Royal Portrush successful 2019 erstwhile the British Open was past played, said the unsmooth was lush and agelong and the fairways were playing wider and softer due to the fact that of the rain.

"Obviously the mode the bounces work, past it tin easy beryllium bouncing disconnected the fairways but they're not similar massively tight," Fleetwood said. "But if you bash deed it offline, you're going to beryllium fortunate to get a prevarication a batch of the times."

It has been 52 years since determination was an English victor of the Open successful England, and Fleetwood — distinctive with his long, curly locks — could beryllium among the location nation's champion chances. He'll beryllium a fashionable fig among the biggest assemblage since play returned aft the coronavirus outbreak.

"Crowds determination oregon not, I'm inactive trying to bash the aforesaid things," helium said. "But I bash hold that there's decidedly definite times, definite moments wherever crowds bring the champion retired of people."

Rahm tin admit the feeling. He is an often spiky, temperamental subordinate known for leaving his emotions retired connected the course. He'll look to provender disconnected the wide instrumentality of spectators and marque much history.

"Very excited," Rahm said. "We've missed it."

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