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Jon Rahm defends his crown

Michelangelo Barber

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Brookline (Massachusetts), 1999. The Ryder Cup ends stormily for the European team, which lost in the penultimate match after flagrant discourtesy by the American public when they invaded the green where Chema Olazábal was kicking. That moment was a turning point for the continental side, which since then has chained seven wins out of the following nine clashes.

In that tournament, Sergio García debuted in the competition, who now returns to this course after also experiencing a tough start at LIV Golf in London. In order to compete in his new circuit, promoted by the Saudi investment fund, the man from Castellón had to give up his rights on the PGA Tour, so this visit to his adopted country will be a one-time event and it comes because he was already classified for the Open USA that starts today in Boston.

The aroma that is breathed, however, is of reconciliation between the rebels and the men who remained faithful to the American Circuit, something that Jon Rahm corroborates. “I have nothing to say about Sergio’s decision. We had a great time at the Ryder in Paris and we were teammates at the one in Wisconsin; after dedicating more than twenty years to this Tour I think he has the right to direct his career as he sees fit », commented the Biscayan, who yesterday played the practice round with another deserter, his friend Phil Mickelson. This implies that personal relationships have not cooled down after being separated by the Atlantic for a week and acknowledging that money has never been a motivation for him, contrary to what may happen with other golfers.

Basque and excellence

«I have never played this for money and I was talking about it the other day with my wife. If that had been the case, I could have retired a long time ago and be dedicated to something else, but what I like is playing against the best and continuing to break records; With 400 million more million in the bank and without being able to do it, he would not be happier, ”said Barrica. The public that followed his training with the southpaw did not understand it that way and did not stop making jokes about the money received in London, although the Californian, hardened in a thousand battles, dealt with them with good humor and without major controversies.

This tournament is special for the Spaniard, since he is defending the title that he so brilliantly won in San Diego last year (the only big one that lights up his record, at the moment) and the good thing is that he already knows how to do it. «The recipe to win this Open is clear: do everything well. You have to shine with the driver, the irons, the chips, the pat… and be mentally good for four days. You can not hide. I think your biggest ally here is mental strength, and that’s what you need.” As the defending champion, all eyes will be on him, something he doesn’t lose any sleep over. «There is no additional pressure to defend the title, really. I want to win it again, that’s obvious, but the pressure I put on myself was already taken off when I won this first major.”

The other participating national, apart from García, is Adri Arnaus. The Barcelona native has raised his international status after achieving his first win on the European Tour and should continue his good run in the big leagues after being the only one to make the cut in the last PGA Championship.

With regard to other favorites, already known the loss of a Tiger Woods that is reserved for the 150th anniversary of the British Open, we will have to count on the usual ones: Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth or Colin Morikawa.

The schedules and companions of the Spanish are the following:

– 1:18 p.m. Morikawa, Jame Piot (amateur) and Jon Rahm.

– 18:52 h. Talor Gooch, Adri Arnaus and Tom Hoge.

– 7:03 p.m. Kevin Na, Serio Garcia, and Tyrrell Hatton.

The tournament can be seen at Movistar Golf from 2:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

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