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Jon Rahm emerges as doubt for US Open due to foot infection

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Rahm withdrew from the LIV Golf League event in Houston during Saturday’s second round because of an infection in his left foot and arrived for his pre-tournament press conference at Pinehurst wearing one shoe and one flip-flop.

“It’s a concern,” the 2021 winner said. “It’s doing better. But definitely still in pain.

“Could I have dragged myself out there (on Saturday) 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. As to right now (playing) this week, I don’t know.”

WATCH: Paul Kimmage goes behind the scenes with Padraig Harrington at the World Golf Hall of Fame venue in Pinehurst

Asked how he had suffered the injury, Rahm added: “We’ve been trying to figure it out because I think that the closest term would be a lesion on the skin. If I were to show you, it’s a little hole in between my pinky toe and the next toe.

“I don’t know how or what happened, but it got infected. The pain was high. On the Saturday round, Saturday morning, I did get a (painkilling) shot to numb the area.

“It was supposed to last the whole round and by my second hole I was in pain already.

“The infection was the worrisome part. The infection is now controlled, but there’s still swelling and there’s still pain.

“There’s a reason I walked out here in a shoe and a flip-flop, trying to keep the area dry and trying to get that to heal as soon as possible.

“But I can only do what I can do. The human body can only work so fast.”

Rahm will not play a practice round until Wednesday but can at least rely on his experience of playing the course a few weeks ago as he bids to improve on some poor results in this season’s majors.

“I’m in a happy place,” insisted the former world number one, who was 45th in the defence of his Masters title and missed the cut in the US PGA.

“It’s not like I’ve been playing bad, even though a lot of you make it sound like I’m playing bad. I’ve had two bad weeks.

“I’ve been top 10 and had a chance to win in most of the tournaments I’ve played, and then unfortunately Augusta and PGA wasn’t my best showings. But, yeah, I’m happy.

“I mean, it’s been a wonderful career so far. And, yeah, it hasn’t been the best first half of the year, but there’s been many times where I haven’t had a great start, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great finish.”

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau believes playing a lot of “boring golf” could be the key to conquering Pinehurst No 2 and capturing his second US Open title.

The 2020 champion, who admits world No 1 Scottie Scheffler is the “gold standard” in the game right now, arrives in North Carolina with confidence after only losing out by one stroke to Xander Schauffele in last month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla.

“Looking forward to a tough test of golf out here,” said DeChambeau, who thrilled fans with his closing 64 in Louisville.

“Pinehurst is no joke. This is a ball striker’s paradise. You have to hit it in the middle of the greens. And this is a Boo Weekley quote, but the centre of the green never moves, so I’ll try to focus on that this week.

“Your putting and wedging has to be pristine in order to compete at this major championship and at this venue.

“Winged Foot [where he won in 2020] was a little bit of a different strategy, so most people would say it’s probably not best suited for me I would say. But I do think I’m a pretty solid chipper and putter around the greens.

“If I get my irons in a place where I’m hitting it in the middle of the greens and just playing boring golf, that’s the goal for me this week is try to play as boring a golf as possible.”

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