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‘I hope they don’t catch me on a bad hole!’: Jon Rahm sends warning to Open protest threats

Protesters have appeared at some of the UK’s headline events this summer, and Jon Rahm hopes they don’t appear at Hoylake as he aims for a second major title in 2023

 

They’re the eco-warriors whose orange-themed protests have caused havoc at sporting events all over UK.

Wimbledon, The Ashes, the World Snooker Championship are just three of the traditional summer of sporting events to have been struck by Just Stop Oil protestors.

But any thinking of a date with some paint at The Open this week might want to stay away from Jon Rahm.

The Masters champion has seen the impact the protests have had on some of the sport’s biggest stages and sent out a warning ahead of festivities at Royal Liverpool.

“I do have a reputation so I hope they don’t catch me on a bad hole,” Rahm said. “I have seen a couple of those things [protests], and I know they are going for an impact. I saw it at Wimbledon and this could be the perfect spot.

“You don’t want to disrupt play, which is what they’re trying. Where I’m at, if it happens, I am going to try to clean up as quickly as possible so we can resume play, that’s all I can say.

“Being a golf course and a bigger area, they might have more room to run around and do what they need to do, but I can assure you, you don’t want to get hit by a golf ball, whether it is on purpose or by accident, however, it may be. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of that.

“We haven’t been told, at least I haven’t yet. We might start hearing it tomorrow or Thursday morning, but not yet.”

Rahm alluded to his tendency to outburst here and there, but he understands that links golf brings about different challenges.

jon rahm the open

The weather, which could be testing this week, is one factor. Rahm will have to play the conditions, as well as the course, if he is to become the first man from Spain to win the Open Championship since Seve Ballesteros.

“Links golf, a lot of it is going to be dictated by the weather, what you can and cannot do on the golf course. Especially, on a golf course like this,” he added.

“The last two Opens here, the scores have been relatively low. We do not have 10 as a par-5, so both Rory and Tiger would have been 12-under if you change that.

“You still have to go and make some birdies. It is being able to pick your spots and play your best golf. You have to have control over what you’re thinking and doing. That is one of the largest parts of the game, it is obviously a factor.”

Rahm also spoke about the consistency of Scottie Scheffler, and whether it compared to his own four-win season on the PGA Tour.

“Well, the better you play, the more consistent you are, the more chances you are going to give yourself to win,” the Spaniard explained.

“Tiger… He not only had an incredible win percentage, but also a top-10 and top-5 percentage was even higher. The more you put yourself in the positions, the more you’re going to win.

“I am a fan of what Scottie has done. I pride myself in consistency. That said, I will take four wins and playing a little worse sometimes.”

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Jon Rahm

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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