Jon Rahm Discusses Kids Running Off With His Ball on 18th Hole of 2022 US Open

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2022

BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 16: Jon Rahm of Spain looks on from the seventh green during round one of the 122nd U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club on June 16, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Jon Rahm put himself in contention for a second straight U.S. Open title by shooting 69 in Round 1, but Thursday's action wasn't without some hiccups.

On the 18th hole, someone stole his ball after his drive into the thick rough to the left of the fairway.

"I'm pretty sure I know who it was," Rahm told reporters after his round. "I recognized the two kids that were running the opposite way with a smile on their face. I am 100 percent sure I saw the two kids that stole it."

Rahm was given a free drop and ended up with a birdie to end the round one stroke under par:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Jon Rahm finishes his day at -1 after this birdie on the 18th. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/USA_Network?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USA_Network</a> <a href="https://t.co/2Bor8rOd09">pic.twitter.com/2Bor8rOd09</a>

Rahm admitted he benefited from the turn of events.

"After the free relief, I had 135 yards to the pin, in an area where the rough wasn't that thick," he said.

It's still not ideal for fans to be grabbing golf balls during the competition. Unlike baseball, in which you can get a foul ball as a souvenir, off-course golf shots remain live in play, and it is up to the competitor to get it back toward the hole.

Security might not kick up too much fuss if it was truly a couple of kids who might not have known better, but the rest of the field should keep an eye out during the week at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.