But Rahm’s Saturday 63 was, by two shots, a record for an Open at Royal Liverpool, which is hosting the tournament for the 13th time. It was also a forceful answer to two days of largely ho-hum play by many of the world’s marquee golfers at the Open, where the leaderboard had often felt like a glimpse into the game’s depths.
“I gave up the shots at major championships that are very costly, and that’s mainly it,” Rahm said on Saturday. “That’s what I was feeling. I knew I was playing better, and I knew my swing and my game felt better than the scores I was shooting.”
Saturday, a feast for imaginative shotmaking, was different.
Often, Rahm noted, the world’s best visualize what they would like to happen with this shot or that one. Often, he noted, reality intrudes. But his Saturday, he suggested, had been marked by the feeling of seeing “everything the way it’s supposed to happen unfold.” On Saturday, he said at one point in Spanish, he had “felt invincible.”
He made his day’s debut birdie on the fifth hole, and added another on the ninth. Another came on the 10th, and it was around then, he recalled later, that his shots started hurtling downwind. He picked up more birdies on the 11th and 12th holes, two more at Nos. 15 and 16 and the last on the 18th, the crowd worked into a thunder.