A section of fencing down the left side of the 9th hole at Torrey Pines may have saved Jon Rahm's US Open chances.
The Fence That Saved Jon Rahm’s US Open
Jon Rahm has won the 121st US Open after a spectacular final day which saw some of golf’s current greats rise and fall at Torrey Pines.
His birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes will go down in history, but it was an incident on the 9th hole of his final round that arguably saved his whole tournament.
Rahm was 3-under as he teed it up on the 9th hole, a couple of shots back from pace setters Louis Oosthuizen and Bryson DeChambeau.
He arrived on the 9th after starting the day impressively with birdies on the first two holes coupled with an incredible up-and-down on the 3rd hole to save par.
A bogey at the 4th took him back to 3-under par for the tournament which, at the time, was slap bang in the middle of a stacked chasing pack.
All was running smoothly until he pulled his tee shot off the 9th tee, and it looked like his early charge might come to an abrupt halt.
The two marshals watching the left side of the 9th immediately signalled the ball out of bounds, while Rahm and his caddie could be heard asking where the ball went.
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The commentary team in the UK believed it to be the boundary fence, meaning Rahm would be forced to take a penalty drop or take three off the tee – likely leading to a bogey or worse on the fairly easy par 5. However, a significant stroke of luck allowed Rahm to take a free drop instead of a penalty.
Indeed, the official boundary fence wasn’t far off the blue fence that Rahm’s ball hit.
The fence was actually protecting the nearby hospitality – not marking out of bounds – and it allowed Rahm to take a free drop.
He went on to make a birdie on the 9th after staring a bogey or double bogey square in the face on the tee.
The rest, as they say, is golfing history and Rahm ended up winning his first Major by 1 shot.
Obviously, a lot of golf was played and a lot of excellent putts were holed in the next nine holes, but this stroke of luck certainly helped the Spaniard on his way to victory.