The Open 2021: Jon Rahm was ‘born with club foot’ which affects his swing

US Open champion Jon Rahm has revealed he overcame being born with a club foot as he prepares for this week's Open Championship at Royal St George's.
US Open champion Jon Rahm has revealed he overcame being born with a club foot as he prepares for this week’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

The Spaniard, 26, has a distinctive short backswing, a result of “limited ankle mobility” in his right leg.

“I have certain physical limitations that let me swing the way I swing, and I don’t deviate from that,” he said.

“I didn’t take a full swing because my right ankle doesn’t have the mobility or stability to take it.”

Rahm went on to say that when he was born, his foot “was was 90 degrees turned inside and basically upside down”.

He added: “They pretty much broke every bone in the ankle and I was casted within 20 minutes of being born from the knee down.”

“I think every week I had to go back to the hospital to get re-casted, so from the knee down my leg didn’t grow at the same rate. So I have very limited ankle mobility in my right leg. It’s a centimetre and a half shorter, as well.

“I learned at a very young age that I’m going to be more efficient at creating power and be consistent from a short swing.

“If I create more speed, I have no stability. My ankle just can’t take it.”

Rahm birdied his final two holes at Torrey Pines last month to win the US Open by one shot and arrived at Royal St George’s on the Kent coast for the 149th Open Championship, which starts on Thursday, as one of the favourites.

“I did have a sense of relief after winning the first major,” said Rahm.

“I felt like for five years, all I heard was ‘major, major, major’ because I was playing good golf, as if it was easy to win a major championship.

“The fact that you are expected to win one means nothing, other than you’re playing good golf,” he added.

“But it doesn’t really change. There’s still the next one to win, so I still come with the same level of excitement, obviously, and willingness to win.”

Rahm moved to the top of the world rankings with his US Open victory, but despite carrying his form into last week’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, where he finished two shots behind winner Min Woo Lee in seventh, American Dustin Johnson has retaken the number one spot.

He will be back as world number one if he were to win this week, and join Americans Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones (twice), Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino as the seventh player to win both Opens in the same year.

“It would be incredible to win both Opens in one year,” said Rahm. “It would be amazing.”