Jon Rahm avoids yet another rules infraction on day one of Open

Rahm rides his luck at Royal Birkdale, just weeks after his Irish Open ball mark incident.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 20 Jul 2017
jon rahm escapes yet another rules situation at open championship

 

Jon Rahm was caught up in yet another rules situation on day one of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, and just like at Portstewart two weeks ago, he was once again cleared of any wrongdoing.

Rahm's ball found the left rough on the 17th hole and he tried to move what he thought was a loose impediment away from his ball.

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It turned out to be a three-foot-long thorny vine, which is when Rahm’s fellow playing competitor, Lee Westwood, stepped in and notified a rules official.

The Spaniard said the vine would not have affected his swing, and officials did not assess him a two-shot penalty for improving his lie.

Jon Rahm avoids yet another rules infraction on day one of Open

“I explained my version of what happened,” said Rahm.

“Unfortunately for me I was the only one who saw it. There were no cameras to back me up. It was never on my line, never on my swing path. It was not going to bother me anyway.”

With no penalty, Rahm went on to shoot a 1-under 69 to lie five shots off the pace set by Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar and Brooks Koepka.

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The rules incident comes just two weeks after Rahm escaped a penalty for failing to replace his golf ball in the exact same position he marked it on the green en route to winning the Irish Open by six shots. 

“At the end of the day, it’s not my call, honestly,” Rahm said. “I can describe what happened as honestly and truthfully as possible, as detailed as can happen. And then they make the judgment call. It’s up to them.

“They did say it’s a very fine line. I would have been fine with whatever the rules official said – they know the rules better than any of us, and it’s their call. I said the same two weeks ago. It was their call to give me a penalty stroke or not.”

WATCH: RAHM ESCAPES PENALTY FOR REPLACING HIS BALL IN WRONG SPOT