May 27, 2017: Sergio Garcia was 21 years old when he won in his first start at Colonial. At age 22, Jon Rahm is making his first start at Colonial. Nothing would please him more than to duplicate Garcia’s debut back in 2001.
“That would be a great thing obviously,” Rahm said.
But to do it, Rahm will have to knock off, among others, his fellow Spaniard.
They each enter the weekend at 5 under, tied for fifth, just one stroke off the lead. Paired together for the first two days, the current and future stars of Spanish golf certainly fed off each other. Rahm had the better score on Thursday, shooting 66. Garcia shot the same score on Friday.
“To be honest, I think we played a role that when one of us were struggling, the other one had a good day,” Rahm said.
“Yesterday I was playing good when he didn’t have his best start, making some amazing par saves. Today he was playing great and I didn’t have my best start.
“I think being happy for each other and pulling for each other, that’s how our game ended up under par on a tough day like today and yesterday.”
“Jon played really well yesterday. He stayed patient today. I didn’t play quite as well, but it was tough. I managed to play nicely and roll a few putts in today that I wasn’t able to do yesterday.”, said Garcia.
Although they’ve played previous practice rounds and competitive rounds together, the two seemed very happy to enjoy each other’s company for 36 holes at Colonial. They spoke in Spanish for most of the day, lapsing into English when necessary – mainly for the benefit of Rahm’s caddie, or for the third member of their trio, Korea’s Si Woo Kim.
Despite ending up with the same scores, Garcia and Rahm will not be paired together on Saturday. Garcia will play with Paul Casey, while Rahm is with Sean O’Hair. Time to get serious.
“It’s been great fun,” Garcia said. I think we both had two really good days on difficult conditions. I think we’re happy the way we played. Excited going into the weekend.”
India’s Anirban Lahiri missed the cut despite a much better effort on Friday. The Indian shot a 71 including a brilliant effort on the front nine that included two birdies and a clean sheet. The first round 76 though hurt him too much for a recovery act.