PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Jon Rahm is hoping a one-week benching is just the spark that his putter needs.
Hitting the ball better than he ever has in his career, Rahm has gone nine months without a victory and is currently losing strokes to the field to the field both on and around the greens.
Not that he needed any reminding.
When a reporter earlier this week mentioned those stats – and the potential room for improvement – he bristled.
“I know the stats, don’t worry,” he said. “I don’t need to know that it’s not going well.”
There were signs of progress Thursday at The Players Championship, where he made two birdies in his last three holes for a 3-under 69 that put him in touch with the early leaders.
Full-field scores from The Players Championship
Even without his tightest iron play, Rahm was able to salvage a score by going 3-for-4 scrambling and gaining nearly 2 ½ strokes on the field on the greens. Back in the bag was his trusty Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S, and Rahm holed 113 feet worth of putts in this protracted opening round at TPC Sawgrass.
“It just needed a timeout last week. I’m usually the last person to ever blame the putter, but I felt like I needed to because that was kind of out of sorts,” said Rahm, who entered the week ranked 135th in putting (down from 42nda year ago) – this in a year when he’s leading the Tour with his ball-striking.
“Sometimes when you’re working on something and something is not working properly, I feel like I can put too much attention to it and I can be thinking too much on what’s going on with the putter, and I feel like this weekend completely reversed it. I said, It’s all good, let’s relax. Let’s try to get the speed of the greens. There’s nothing wrong, technically. I tried to just get the speed of the greens, and it worked out beautifully. Almost got me out of being too technical and more into putting as an art.”