Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Jon Rahm withdraws from U.S. Open with mysterious toe injury

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Jon Rahm WD’d from the U.S. Open on Tuesday afternoon.

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PINEHURST, N.C. — What ailed Jon Rahm on U.S. Open Tuesday was no secret.

Not his head nor his shoulders nor his knees, but his toes.

Rahm was spotted all over Pinehurst No. 2 as a cool Tuesday morning burned into a blistering afternoon sporting what could charitably be called the day’s most unusual footwear arrangement: a golf shoe on one foot, flip-flop on the other. Spare a rather gnarly sock tan, the sandaled foot was unaffected but for a single, large bandage between Rahm’s two smallest toes. The problem area was small, but Rahm’s limp was not. Something was wrong.

Early on Tuesday evening, we learned to what degree. Rahm withdrew from the U.S. Open on account of the injury, sharing the information via a statement on his social media channel.

“After consulting with numerous doctors and my team, I have decided it is best for my long term health, (sic) to withdraw from this week’s US Open Championship,” Rahm wrote. “To say I’m disappointed is a massive understatement! I wish all my peers the best of luck and want to thank all of the USGA staff, volunteers and community of Pinehurst for hosting and putting on what I’m sure will be an amazing championship! Hopefully I’ll be back in action sooner than later!”

The cause of the WD is, officially, a toe injury. Specifically, per Rahm’s press conference on Tuesday morning, a “lesion” between his fourth and pinkie toes that became infected during last week’s LIV Golf tournament in Houston. Rahm WD’d from that event, too, after a numbing injection taken before the start of play to keep him out of pain, he said, left him in agony on the second hole.

“I don’t know how or what happened, but it got infected,” Rahm said. “The pain was high.”

He arrived in Pinehurst on one shoe at the advice of his medical team, which urged him to keep the area dry before play began lest he risk reinfection. As of Tuesday afternoon, Rahm still hadn’t stepped foot on the course while he tried his best to let the toe heal.

He was terser than usual during Tuesday morning’s press availability, specifically when asked about the injury.

“Oh, it’s a concern,” he said shortly. “It’s doing better, but it’s definitely still in pain.”

Rahm’s appearance in the press area on Tuesday morning indicated to many that he would compete in the U.S. Open, home of his first major championship victory at Torrey Pines in 2021. But as he spoke for longer, it became clear that was far from a certainty.

“Could I have dragged myself out there and posted some kind of a score? Yeah. But it was getting to a point where I wasn’t making the swings I wanted to make, and I could have hurt other parts of my swing just because of the pain,” he said of his WD in Houston, before pausing.

“As to right now this week, I don’t know.”

By Tuesday evening, Rahm had seen enough. He withdrew from the U.S. Open shortly after 5 p.m. local time, opening up a spot for Jackson Suber — a 24-year-old Korn Ferry Tour pro from Tampa, Fla.

Rahm’s WD marked the latest chapter in a frustrating 2024 for the two-time major champ. Rahm has recorded top-10s by the fistful on LIV, his new home tour, but also finished T45 finish at the Masters and missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

Now, thanks to one of the more bizarre injuries in recent major championship history, he’ll head home from Pinehurst without having even made it to Thursday.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.

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