On Friday, Jon Rahm shot a three-under 69 in the opening round at LIV Houston, a round that included a viral clip of Rahm grimacing and limping after a shot on the par-3 7th. After playing six holes in his second round, Rahm withdrew from the tournament due to an infection in his left foot, as reported by LIV Golf’s Mike McAllister.

At the time of writing this, Jon Rahm remains slated for a Tuesday press conference at the U.S. Open this week. As the opening round approaches, the health of one of golf’s biggest stars will be among the biggest stories of U.S. Open week.

Six months into 2024, Jon Rahm is having arguably the worst season of his professional career. While he hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in a LIV tournament that he’s completed, he has not won on LIV, nor has he shown any semblance of his typical form in either of the first two majors of the season. He finished T-45 at the Masters, and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. That T-45 was his worst finish at Augusta in his career, while the missed cut at Valhalla was Rahm’s first missed cut in a major since 2019. With Rahm’s health in question in advance of golf’s third major, the 29-year-old is in danger of spending a year of his prime nowhere near the top of a leaderboard through three of the four most important tournaments of the year.

Regarding Jon Rahm’s decision to sign with LIV at the end of 2023, people will be quick to draw whichever conclusion suits their preferred narrative. Either Rahm got a huge bag of cash and became complacent with his game, or he is just having the kind of off year golfers naturally do, made worse by an unfortunate injury at the wrong time of the season. Whichever narrative you choose, though, it’s hard to spin Rahm’s season as anything but a massive disappointment so far. He could shift the story of his season if he posts a strong performance at Pinehurst, but with questions surrounding both his health and his form, Rahm contending this week feels increasingly unlikely.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For more coverage of the U.S. Open, visit our U.S. Open hub here.