July 19, 2024 | 1:04

Sports

Jon Rahm shows character and emerges in his PGA debut

Mairenis Gomez

May 17, 2024 | 2:30 p.m.

Jon Rahm went from less to more in his debut in the PGA Championship, second major of the season

On his first day of competition, Jon Rahm, two-time Grand Slam champion, showed his resilience. He started off cold, posting a +4 on the first six holes, but found his rhythm on the back nine. With a remarkable performance, he managed to sign four birdies in the last six holes, finishing with a score of -1, eight blows from the leader, Xander Schauffele.

Rahm's performance in the first round was worrying. The Basque had difficulties at Valhalla Golf Club, especially due to its wild rough, which complicated his shots. However, a birdie on the seventh hole and an impressive second round, despite some mistakes, left Rahm in a good position to continue fighting for the tournament.

Xander Schauffele leads strongly while Otaegui and Puig also stand out

The first leader of the 2024 PGA Championship emerged in the morning shift. Xander Schauffele had an outstanding performance with a 62, -9, looking to end his streak of 11 top 10s in majors without victories. Schauffele was closely followed by his compatriots Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala, both at -6, and Rory McIlroy at -5, who demonstrated his excellent form after his recent victory at Wells Fargo.

Adrián Otaegui and David Puig also had a good start in the tournament. Otaegui, recent champion of the Volvo China Open, finished the day with -1, while Puig, in his second major, finished in par. Both players demonstrated their high level and are in a favorable position to make the cut and compete during the weekend.

The big names remain in contention in a challenging Valhalla

World number one, Scottie Scheffler, closed the day with -4. The Texan, who started the tournament with an 'eagle', showed an irregular return, but even so, he remains in contention. Scheffler, a recent father, did not have his best day with the putt, which prevented him from leading from the first day.

Jon Rahm finds his rhythm in the PGA Championship and finishes on the right foot after a difficult start

Tiger Woods faces a difficult debut in Valhalla while Jon Rahm shines with a great comeback

On the other hand, Tiger Woods, in his return to top competition after his participation in Augusta, finished with 72 strokes. The 'Tiger', PGA champion in the same Valhalla in 2000, had a debut with ups and downs and will need to improve his performance to make the cut. Friday looks challenging, with rain forecast that could further complicate course conditions.

Ultimately, Jon Rahm demonstrated his resilience and made it clear that he is a serious contender in the PGA Championship. With other big names also in the fight, the tournament promises strong emotions in the coming days.

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