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Golf-Rahm admits his foot issue a concern ahead of U.S. Open

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(Reuters) – Former champion Jon Rahm said the foot infection that led to his withdrawal from last week’s LIV Golf event remains a concern ahead of this week’s U.S. Open and he did little to clear up his status for the year’s third major.

Rahm, who arrived for his pre-tournament media availability wearing a flip-flop on his left foot to keep the area dry and a shoe on his right foot, said the infection is under control but he has a skin lesion between his pinky toe and the next toe and that the area is still swollen and causing him pain.

“It’s a concern,” world number eight Rahm said on Tuesday at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. “It’s doing better. But definitely still in pain.”

Rahm is not sure what caused the issue but the discomfort was enough that he decided to have a shot to numb the area on Saturday that was supposed to get him through the second round of the LIV Golf event pain free.

But Rahm revealed he was in pain by the second hole and ultimately decided to withdraw after six holes.

The Spaniard admitted his decision to withdraw was partly a precautionary measure but did not fully commit to being ready to play this week.

“Could I have dragged myself out there 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,” said Rahm.

“As to right now this week, I don’t know.”

Rahm finished in the top 10 at three majors last year, including at Augusta National where he won the Masters, but has struggled at the blue-riband events since his shock move to LIV Golf last December.

The Spaniard shared 45th place at this year’s Masters and missed the cut at last month’s PGA Championship but said he likes his chances whenever he plays.

“Anytime I tee it up, I feel like I have a good chance,” said Rahm, who won his first major at the 2021 U.S. Open and came joint 10th last year.

Rahm is scheduled to play the first two rounds alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth with the group heading out from the first tee at 1:36 p.m. ET (1736 GMT) on Thursday.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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