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Jon Rahm calls ESPN’s Sage Steele ‘tough as nails’ after being hit by errant shot at PGA Championship


Nine times PGA Tour Winner Jon Rahm has praised ESPN sports presenter Sage Steele for being ‘tough as nails’ after enduring months of dental work after Rahm’s errant shot at the PGA Championship hit her in the mouth .

Steele was finally able to talk face-to-face with Rahm in a video call on Tuesday, nine months after the crash, and even poked fun at the golfer for failing to birdie.

Jon Rahm of Spain watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 19, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla.
(AP Photo/Matt York)

“As I was hiding behind the tree — you know, with no teeth in my mouth — I looked up and saw you,” Steele said. “And I’m like, the least he can do – because you didn’t know it hit me – the least you can do is birdie that hole for me. And you left me fall. I think you just parried.”

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Rahm responded in disbelief at Steele’s resilience.

“Let me say, you’re tough as nails, Jesus Christ. I hit that one hard too – it was coming with some speed,” Rahm marveled.

Jon Rahm of Spain stands on the 13th green during a practice round for the PGA Championship on May 18, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla.

Jon Rahm of Spain stands on the 13th green during a practice round for the PGA Championship on May 18, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“I think I had a chance to birdie. Yeah, I definitely let you down,” he continued with a laugh. “I haven’t enjoyed all week. I’m sorry, I really let you down in that sense.”

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Rahm said he didn’t know during the tour Steele had been hit by his shot, which he confessed to being grateful for in hindsight.

“Honestly I was oblivious, I only realized what happened after the round. So I can thank you for that too,” Rahm said. “It definitely would have affected me for the rest of the round if I had known I would have done this to you. So thank you for your professionalism in that regard.”

SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele at the espnW Women + Sports Summit at the Pelican Hill Resort on October 23, 2019 in Newport Beach, California.

SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele at the espnW Women + Sports Summit at the Pelican Hill Resort on October 23, 2019 in Newport Beach, California.
(Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe – I didn’t hear a thing. I mean not a single complaint, nothing,” he continued. “And when they told me what happened, I couldn’t believe it. So, I’m sorry. Again, I’m so sorry.”

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Steele posted an update on her Instagram in September revealing that, more than four months after the incident, she underwent her third root canal and had a total of eight teeth replaced.

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