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BATTLING THE RAIN: Players struggle as Saturday unfolds at Oak Hill Country Club

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

A rainy golf course presents its challenges. That was especially the case during the first half of the third round being played at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

“It’s just really difficult to keep everything dry, and so it starts with the grip, and then from there, if you get water on the ball or the driver face, the ball can really go anywhere,” Spieth said of conditions, as he recounted a soggy moving day at the PGA Championship. “You have to do a good job of- it’s just a different kind of routine, right? I was holding my driver face down as I was getting ready to hit, and I would set up and hit it pretty quickly.”

As for that injured wrist, Spieth said there were a few shots on Saturday that, due to the rain, were altered. “I’m doing a lot of recovery that I’ve been doing every day since I injured it,” he continued. “There’s been a couple scenarios where I bailed out of a couple shots that if it weren’t a factor, I would have, and unfortunately those shots did affect my score.”

Spieth said it only happened a couple times, but it was enough to cost a few shots.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

“My normal swings it’s not an issue. It’s just when you start getting bunker lips and stuff like that, and you’ve got to really flick under a flop shot or a bunker shot, I had that today where I just don’t have the confidence in not making it worse, so I just bail a little bit.”

In his own words, the injury isn’t anything major, but it’s enough that a couple weeks off before the PGA would have been beneficial. He finished the day 1-over, bringing his three-day total to 6-over par.

Then there was Jon Rahm. The No. 1 player in the world struggled containing his emotions during the second and third rounds as rain made things worse at Oak Hill. He fired a 2-over 72, but did manage to play the last six holes 3-under par.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

He said there was positive momentum to be gained from it. “It was great, obviously,” Rahm said during his post-round presser. “I make that mistake on 10, I make that bogey and I’m looking at a stretch of holes that might not be the easiest. I’m hoping for dear life not to make anymore bogeys and find myself in a spot where I actually have to give myself quite a few birdie chances, converted them, and gain a little bit of confidence.”

He called it an ‘amazing’ finish; and given the conditions out there- it absolutely was. Rahm said he doesn’t typically wear rain gloves. It’s a decision that comes down to comfort. “I’ve never been able to get used to rain gloves. I can’t quite get the grip I want on the club and hit it.”

There’s another factor that rain brings into the equation: Inconsistency on ball striking. “There’s a couple today where we’re dead center of the face and some went left- and some went right and that’s just been unlucky,” he explained.

At the end of the day though, the rain does present the opportunity for players to be more aggressive – if they find the right spots. “This golf course, with how difficult it is, it all starts by putting the ball in the fairway. It’s not an easy task,” he continued. “It’s very, very difficult. If you can do that, then you can maybe give yourself some chances and it all starts with that.”

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