Tano Goya and Erik van Rooyen trail leader Austin Smotherman by one shot after seven-under opening rounds of 64; world No 1 Jon Rahm is four back at four under; watch the second round of the Mexico Open live on Friday from 1.45pm on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 28/04/23 7:47am
Highlights of round one at the Mexico Open at the Vidanta Vallarta course
World No 1 Jon Rahm is four shots off leader Austin Smotherman, who shot an eight-under 63 in the opening round of the Mexico Open to lead by one.
Masters champion Jon Rahm, who won the Mexico Open at Vidanta for his only PGA Tour title a year ago, had five birdies on his last 11 holes to overcome a sluggish start for a four-under 67.
“Those first 13 holes we had virtually no wind, about as easy conditions as it can get,” Rahm said after his round. “I wish I would have taken advantage of it more.
“I’m happy I played as good as I did on the back nine and capped it off with the putt on the last hole.”
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April 28, 2023, 1:45pm
American Smotherman is winless on the PGA Tour, though he did win the Mexico Open in 2018 on a different golf course – it was held in Tijuana that year – and when it was part of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica schedule.
Smotherman played bogey-free in his opening round, while he missed only three greens in regulation on a gorgeous morning. The last time he did so was on his final hole, the par-three ninth, where he ultimately chipped in for his eighth birdie of the round.
Tano Goya and Erik van Rooyen trail Smotherman by one, both on seven under, with the latter having a big finish that saw him play his final five holes in four under – including an eagle on the par-four 15th when he holed out from 141 yards.
Erik van Rooyen and several other players on the 10th hole of the Abierto Mexicano de Golf course as they were forced to drop to the floor because of an approaching swarm of bees
The South African’s best moment, however, might have been on the 10th hole when, standing over his shot with a four-iron, he backed off and said, “Bees! Bees! Bees!” Before long, Chez Reavie and Francesco Molinari and the caddies hit the turf to avoid a swarm of bees.
“I just told my caddie, Bees, bees, bees.’ And he looks at me like I’m crazy,” Van Rooyen said. “So I dropped down, then he sees them, he dropped down.
“Frankie and Chez, they look at me like I’m nuts and then 30 seconds later the bees just went right at them.
“It’s funny, but certainly don’t want to get stung by those bad boys.”
Tony Finau is among five players two shots off the lead after a six-under opening round of 65.
Watch the Mexico Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1.45pm on Sky Sports Golf.
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Source : https://www.skysports.com/golf/news/12040/12868007/john-rahm-four-off-mexico-open-leader-austin-smotherman-after-the-opening-round-at-vidanta?rand=3094