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Swinging double, and Rahm’s testing times: golf talking points

Rory McIlroy‘s swing double and Jon Rahm’s premature optimistic Covid take a look at function in AFP Sport’s golf talking points this week:

– Swinging double –

Hours finding out Rory McIlroy’s swing paid off for Yuka Saso when she turned the Philippines’ first major-winner on the age of simply 19 on Sunday.

Saso, whose shock victory was warmly welcomed in Asia, fashions her recreation on McIlroy, poring over YouTube and TV footage of the Northern Irishman.

The outcomes are placing: a swing that’s eerily much like the four-time main champion’s, and a dramatic play-off victory within the US Women’s Open on Sunday.

Side-by-side footage of the 2 reveals a carbon-copy motion and, in her victory speech, Saso thanked McIlroy for spurring her on.

“Rory mentioned me on Instagram and said, ‘Get that trophy.’ And I did! So thank you, Rory,” she mentioned, after edging the play-off in opposition to Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.

At 19 years, 11 months and 17 days, Saso tied Park In-bee — to the precise day — because the match’s youngest winner, in simply her seventh begin on the LPGA Tour.

Saso, who’s half-Japanese and plies her commerce on the Japan LPGA Tour, additionally received particular person and workforce gold for the Philippines on the 2018 Asian Games.

– ‘Brave’ Osaka –

Michelle Wie West provided phrases of assist to Naomi Osaka following the tennis famous person’s much-debated withdrawal from the French Open after flagging considerations over her psychological well being.

Wie West, a former prodigy who turned skilled at 16, mentioned she too felt anxious talking to the media, an expertise that Osaka mentioned was like “kicking people when they’re down”.

“My lows have definitely been well documented throughout the years, and there’s a lot of tough times,” Wie mentioned on the US Women’s Open.

“I thought what Naomi did this past week was incredibly brave.”

Wie West joins a number of different athletes, together with Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, in applauding the four-time main winner.

“I’m really proud of athletes taking charge of their mental health and making it a priority,” Wie West mentioned.

“I do get anxiety talking to media, because I know it’s the same questions every week.”

– Rahm’s Covid sickener –

A hole-in-one heralded a birdie blitz for Jon Rahm, however his six-shot lead on the US PGA Memorial was mercilessly undone by a brush with Covid.

The 26-year-old Spaniard had his head in his palms when he got here off the 18th inexperienced at Muirfield Village and was advised he was out of the match over a optimistic take a look at.

“I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament,” Rahm mentioned later, in an announcement posted on Twitter.

“This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people.”

The take a look at outcome could not have come at a worse time for the world quantity three, who had performed scintillating golf on Saturday to place one hand on the trophy.

Rahm’s ace — the third of his PGA Tour profession — got here on the par-three sixteenth as he accomplished his second spherical, which was halted by darkness on Friday.

He went on to fireside an eight-under-par 64 within the third spherical for 18-under 198, matching Tiger Woods’s 2000 match report for the most important lead by way of 54 holes.

“My heart, it just sinks for him,” mentioned American Scottie Scheffler, who performed alongside Rahm and Patrick Cantlay, the eventual winner, within the third spherical.

“I just feel awful.”

Rahm, who was asymptomatic, had been enjoying below tighter virus protocols together with each day testing after coming into shut contact with a Covid-19 case.

He examined damaging for 4 consecutive days, solely to return a optimistic take a look at from a pattern collected on Saturday morning.

– World rankings –

Latest main world rankings, week starting June 7, 2021


1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 10.04

2. Justin Thomas (USA) 8.25

3. Jon Rahm (ESP) 8.05

4. Collin Morikawa (USA) 7.39 (+2)

5. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 6.97 (-1)

6. Xander Schauffele (USA) 6.87 (-1)

7. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 6.44 (+8)

8. Brooks Koepka (USA) 6.17 (-1)

9. Patrick Reed (USA) 6.15

10. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 5.93 (-2)


1. Ko Jin-young (KOR) 9.38

2. Park In-bee (KOR) 8.86

3. Kim Sei-young (KOR) 7.88

4. Nelly Korda (USA) 7.36

5. Brooke Henderson (CAN) 6.41

6. Danielle Kang (USA) 5.96

7. Lexi Thompson (USA) 5.90 (+2)

8. Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 5.61 (-1)

9. Yuka Saso (PHI) 5.52 (+31)

10. Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 5.41 (+3)


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