By Andrew Both
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) – World number three Jon Rahm stayed in the frame for his first-major title on Friday as he headed into the U.S. Open weekend at three-under par and two strokes behind the clubhouse lead at Torrey Pines.
The 26-year-old Spaniard struggled to hit the fairway early on in the round, but found his footing on the back half of the course, carding a respectable one-under par 70, with a pair of birdies on the final five holes in San Diego.
“I just have to swing a little bit harder with the driver, and that’s exactly what I did starting on 13,” the five-time PGA Tour winner told reporters.
“Those drivers… on 13, 15, 17, and 18 were absolutely perfect. They were all exactly the way I thought they were going to be, the way I visualised them. Sometimes that’s what you need to do.
“I focus more on visualising the shots rather than just getting too technical because I started thinking of it too much on the swing, and I just kind of let it come to me.”
The solid performance comes after Rahm was forced to abandon a six-shot lead having completed 54 holes at the Memorial tournament in Ohio earlier this month after returning a positive coronvirus test.
“What happened a couple of weeks ago is something I can’t control, unfortunately, but what I can do is control what I do every time,” said Rahm.
(Reporting by Andrew Both, writing by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)