Bad start for Jon Rahm at LIV in Las Vegas

British golfer Paul Casey and American Harold Varner III surged into the lead of the LIV Golf Las Vegas on Thursday after a first round where Jon Rahm trailed by five strokes

by Andrea Gussoni
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Bad start for Jon Rahm at LIV in Las Vegas
© Getty Images Sport - Manuel Velasquez / Stringer

British golfer Paul Casey and American Harold Varner III surged into the lead of the LIV Golf Las Vegas on Thursday after a first round where Jon Rahm trailed by five strokes. In this first stop in the U.S. for the controversial Saudi circuit in 2024, Casey and Varner III both carded a -7 with 63 strokes each.

Rahm had less luck, settling for a -2 with three birdies and a bogey.

Jon Rahm, results

His compatriot David Puig was the top Spanish performer with a -3. Eugenio Chacarra matched Rahm with a -2, while Sergio Garcia finished the first day with a -1.

Garcia finished second in the first LIV Golf event of 2024, the Mayakoba in Mexico last week, narrowly losing in an exciting playoff against Chilean Joaquín Niemann, who scored a -2 in the opening round in Las Vegas.

In the team standings, RangeGoats GC, led by American Bubba Watson, holds the top position with a total of -15. This LIV Golf tournament will run until Saturday in Las Vegas, just one day before the casino mecca hosts the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

After the US Open, Jon Rahm turned professional, which invalidated his qualification for the 2016 British Open. In his debut tournament as a pro, the Quicken Loans National, he led, either outright or tied, after the first two rounds, ultimately finishing third, four strokes behind the winner Billy Hurley III.

This performance earned him a qualification spot for the British Open once again, as the Quicken Loans National was one of the qualifying tournaments. He then finished 2nd at the RBC Canadian Open, securing a special temporary membership status on the PGA Tour for the remainder of the season.

Additionally, he accumulated enough points as a non-member to earn a PGA Tour card for the 2017 season. On January 29, 2017, he won the Farmers Insurance Open with a 60-foot putt for eagle on the final hole. A few weeks later, he announced that he would also compete on the European Tour.

In March, he played in his first World Golf Championships events, finishing 3rd at the WGC-Mexico Championship and 2nd at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he was defeated in the final by the world number 1, American Dustin Johnson.

He clinched his second title of the year, and his first on the European Tour, at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with a six-shot lead over the runners-up. In July 2018, he won the Ryder Cup with the European team in his debut appearance, contributing 1 point against Tiger Woods.

Jon Rahm Paul Casey Liv Golf
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