Jon Rahm is breaking records to stay in the mix at The Open.
The 28-year-old Spanish professional golfer logged the lowest round ever at Royal Liverpool in its 13 times hosting the major.
Rahm birdied seven of his last 10 holes on Saturday for a 63, by 2 shots the lowest score at Hoylake in The Open. The course was the only one in the modern rotation that had not yielded lower than a 65 until Saturday.
“I think it stands for itself. It’s pretty obvious. It’s my lowest round on a links course and it’s an Open Championship, right?” Rahm said “… I was playing good golf, and I knew what I was capable of.”
Ranked No. 3 in the world, Rahm holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 closing hole right about the time Brian Harman teed off. Following Harman’s 2-under 69, Rahm sits 6 shots back at 6 under and in third place.
Rahm made his move with four straight birdies around the turn. His finish was sharp too. He chipped to 8 feet for birdie on the 15th, holed a 35-foot birdie putt on the 16th and finished with the closing birdie.
“The job today was to come out and give myself the best opportunity I could,” he said. “Whenever you get a birdie, just thinking about one more. That’s simply all you can do.”
It was a stark contrast to Rahm’s frustration over the first two days after he creeped into the weekend at 2-over par following rounds of 74 and 70. Rahm left Hoylake upset with his misses and complaining about the number of people who got in his way while he played with Rory McIlroy.
Rahm said Saturday was one of those days in which he could execute everything he visualized ahead of his shots.
“It doesn’t happen often where you see those shots come out the way they’re supposed to and put them in the spots you’re supposed to,” Rahm said. “You see everything the way it’s supposed to happen unfold, and it’s very unusual.”
But as the reigning Masters champion put himself in contention for a potential third major title, he also wasn’t going to get ahead of where he stands. Only one player has come from 12 or more shots back after 36 holes to win a major. That was George Duncan in the 1920 Open.
“It feels really good, but it’s a lot of work to do tomorrow,” Rahm said.
Victory at Hoylake would put him alongside Seve Ballesteros as the only Spaniards to win The Open. Ballesteros won in 1979, 1984 and 1988.
Rahm was asked what he felt by becoming the first Spaniard to shoot 63 and do something that not even the great Ballesteros did in a major.
“I’d rather win three times and never shoot 63,” Rahm said.