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Jon Rahm Questions Narrative Surrounding Rory McIlroy's US Open Nightmare

Jon Rahm Questions Narrative Surrounding Rory McIlroy's US Open Nightmare
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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The collective groans of Irish golf fans could be heard around the world as Rory McIlroy's putt on the 18th slipped by the right of the cup on US Open Sunday.

From just under four feet, McIlroy's putt slipped from left to right and lipped out, forcing a bogey and handing the impetus back to Bryson DeChambeau. A par would have been enough to secure a play-off.


The fall-out from McIlroy's astonishing finish at Pinehurst has been intense, with faces from all over the world of golf stepping up to give their hypotheses on where Rory lost the tournament, or where it all went wrong on the back nine of the US Open.

Some have blamed his caddie, some have blamed his mentality, while some have simply stated the obvious that the image of his putt rolling out on the 18th is one that will haunt McIlroy for the rest of his life.

There has been plenty of noise amid the low point of McIlroy's chase for the fifth major. However, through it all, his former Ryder Cup teammate Jon Rahm has come to his defence, arguing that the difficulty of his putt on the 18th has been severely underplayed by the golf media.

READ HERE: Official: Shane Lowry And Rory McIlroy To Reunite For Team Ireland At Paris 2024 Olympics


READ HERE: Shane Lowry Proud To Bounce Back From 'Lowest Point' In Career With Strong US Open Finish

Jon Rahm defends Rory McIlroy after US Open nightmare

As he prepares to return to action with LIV Golf this weekend, Jon Rahm was asked to comment on Rory McIlroy's late collapse at the US Open.

The Spaniard would strongly defend his ex-Team Europe compatriot McIlroy, saying that the NBC commentary team had misled the public on how easy the decisive putt was for the Northern Irishman.


One of the things that really burned me...I think it was Smylie [Kaufman] who said it - they severely underplayed how difficult Rory's putt on 18 was.

When you say it's a "left-centre putt" - if you hit that putt left-centre and you miss the hole, you're off the green because of how much slope there is.

You could see Rory aiming at least a cup left from three feet. They severely underplayed how difficult that putt was, severely.

I think that can happen a few times where, unless you've been there on the golf course and you're playing it or you've played it, it's hard to truly explain how difficult a golf course can be.

A lot of times, they only have those five seconds to say something quickly.

It was strong stuff from Rahm, though the evidence is there that the greens at Pinehurst were lethal throughout the US Open weekend.


One remarkable clip from Friday's session saw McIlroy and playing partners Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele struggling to get the ball to sit on the green in the first place.

The high-scoring nature of the tournament also epitomised the immense challenge posed to players by the course.

Rory McIlroy will be haunted by the conclusion to the US Open and perhaps questions do need to be asked. However, a bit of added perspective from those at the top of the game may not go amiss in the weeks to come.


SEE ALSO: 'Wrong Club, Wrong Shot': Tiger's Ex-Coach Blames Caddie For Rory McIlroy's US Open Woe

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