Jon Rahm ‘surprised’ to miss cut at US PGA Championship

Two-time major winner Jon Rahm admitted he was surprised to be one of the big-name casualties when the halfway cut was finally made in the 106th US PGA Championship.

The cut fell at one under par when the second round was completed at Valhalla on Saturday morning following a delay of more than two hours due to heavy fog.

A record 78 players were in red figures after two rounds of a major championship, eclipsing the previous mark of 71 in the 2006 Open at Royal Liverpool.

However, Rahm was not among them after missing out by a single shot, with Matt Fitzpatrick and Ludvig Aberg also finishing level par and Tiger Woods tied for 133rd on seven over.

Rahm has finished in the top 10 of each of his seven LIV Golf events this season, but was a lowly 45th in the defence of his Masters title last month and his early exit in Louisville ended his streak of major cuts made at 18.

“Surprised,” Rahm said of his two rounds. “Surprised because of how I felt like I was hitting it in Australia and Singapore and in the week off before coming here, especially off the tee, hitting great drives, and that’s what’s been my downfall.

“I just couldn’t find a fairway off the tee. You can make birdies off the fairway, but off the rough, it’s a tough golf course to score on and that’s kind of what happened to me.”

Rahm fought back from four over par after six holes on Thursday to card an opening 70 and was level par for the championship with four holes to play in round two, but could not find the birdie he needed.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm reacts to his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship (Jeff Roberson/AP)

“I was just hoping to get one more and clear myself,” the former world number one said. “When you’re playing bad you kind of need the extra motivation in some kind of way.

“It was on my mind and the swing wasn’t quite there, but with the putter I felt comfortable.

“I was just begging to give myself some kind of a chance and I could never give myself anything on the last three holes [after saving par on the sixth]. I think it was 25 feet, 25 feet and 60 feet.”

Rahm’s performance in the majors since switching to LIV will inevitable raise questions over whether it was a mistake to join the Saudi-funded breakaway, which has small fields and 54-hole events with a shotgun start.

The Spaniard insisted earlier this week he still feels like a PGA Tour member despite being suspended, while former Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington does not believe Rahm is regretting his controversial switch.

“I didn’t feel any buyer’s remorse out there,” Harrington said after a practice round with Rahm and Shane Lowry.

“My own personal opinion is I’m kind of frustrated because at times I thought I knew what the situation was [in talks between golf’s rival factions], but it’s changed so much, every day it seems to change. It’s hard to get a handle on it.

“I honestly think at this stage you kind of need an independent adjudicator to come in and tell everybody what’s what.

“It doesn’t seem to be good for golf to fracture, the PGA Tour is missing some of the guys who we didn’t think we’d miss and somebody needs to come in and tell us what to do.

“We need a mediator to sort it out. We would all like solid clarity and leave it at that.”