Rahm rare combo of power, grace
Spain’s John Rahm recently rose to the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings and is the odds-on favorite at this week’s PGA Tour stop, the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
It’s been a quite a meteoric rise for the 25-year-old over the past two years, becoming the third youngest golfer to ascend to the world’s top spot, behind only Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.
Just four years ago, Rahm was playing his final tournament as an amateur in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont. I was fortunate to be a spectator at that tournament during Friday’s second round and followed Rahm as he hit his tee shot far to the right on the 18th hole.
I remember being in a small crowd of spectators, surprised to be just a few feet away as Rahm prepared to hit his second shot. The club he chose looked like a six-iron, but what really amazed me was the young Spaniard’s swing — so powerful, yet seemingly effortless.
After his shot took off, soaring toward the green, Rahm was off and on his way. At that moment, I remember thinking to myself that I could never dream of swinging a golf club like that. In Rahm’s hands, the mid-iron he hit looked like a toothpick.
He’s playing some great golf right now. It will be interesting to see how long Rahm’s reign as the world’s no.1 golfer will last.
Father and son thing
A few local teams competed in the Pennsylvania Father-Son championship held last week at the Bedford Springs Resort.
The top local finisher was the team of Greg and Andrew Ferguson, which finished in fourth place overall, with a four-under-par score of 68.
The team of Artie and Derek Fink also played well, turning in a score of one-under 71, good enough for an eighth-place finish. Their experience, however, was highlighted by being paired with legendary club professional Bob Ford and his son Jay.
The 66-year old Ford spent 37 years as the head professional at historic Oakmont Country Club before retiring in 2016. He currently serves as the club’s pro emeritus.
In addition, Ford is currently the head pro at Florida’s legendary Seminole Golf Club. He’s won nearly every national award offered to club professionals and is universally referred to as “The finest club pro in America.”
“He was absolutely great to play with,” Artie Fink said. “He was interesting to talk to, and he hit every drive 260 yards, right down the middle.”
The 27th annual Summit Invitational is being played this weekend in Cresson.
The team of Artie Fink Jr. and Anthony DeGol are looking to defend their title from last year, which came after a two-hole playoff with Steve DeStefano and Jay Pheasant.
A win on Sunday would be the third local title for this powerhouse duo in just the past four weeks and would also be DeGol’s fourth victory in as many weeks (he partnered with Chambersburg’s William Smith in the recent Park Hills Classic). A win this weekend would also give DeGol the opportunity to capture all five local best-ball titles in the same year. Scotch Valley will host the final, local two-man tournament in mid-September.
Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.