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Rahm’s struggles continue with 7-over opening round in Spain

SOTOGRANDE, Spain (AP) — Jon Rahm’s struggles at home continued on Thursday with a 7-over 78 that matched his second worst round ever as a professional and left him 11 shots off the clubhouse lead at the Andalucía Masters.

He had also shot 78 in the second round at the British Open in 2018. His worst score was an 82 in the third round of The Players Championship in 2017.

The No. 1-ranked player had four bogeys and a double bogey on his front nine and another bogey on his back nine at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

He was near last place past the halfway point in the opening round, with only seven players shooting higher scores than him.

Rahm was coming off a disappointing 17th-place finish at the Spanish Open last week in his return home after nearly two years. He opened with a 63 but had lackluster rounds the rest of the way and was not in contention to defend his title on Sunday.

The U.S. Open champion did not play in the Andalucía Masters last year. The tournament was won by John Catlin, an American who opened with a 2-over 73 to begin his title defense.

Julien Guerrier, who finished in a tie for third at the Spanish Open, was the early leader after shooting 4-under 67. Rafa Cabrera Bello, the winner at the Spanish Open, was one shot behind.

The Spain swing ends next week with the Mallorca Open.

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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