Jon Rahm Withdraws from Players Championship, Opening Door for Scheffler and McIlroy to Claim No. 1 Ranking
World No. 1 Jon Rahm has withdrawn from the Players Championship ahead of his second round due to illness. The marquee group of Rahm, No. 2-ranked Scottie Scheffler and No. 3 Rory Mcilroy was set to tee off at 12:56 p.m. ET on Friday, with scenarios based on their finishes where both Scheffler and McIlroy can supplant Rahm as World No. 1.
Rahm, hailing from Spain, shot a score of 1-under 71 on Thursday during the opening round. He had been on an absolute tear this year, winning three times in his seven starts on the PGA Tour and rising to World No. 1 with a victory at the Genesis Invitational last month. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando last week, he attained his poorest result of the season, coming in T-39.
Unfortunately, Rahm's withdrawal ends his PGA Tour-leading made-cut streak at 25. Xander Schauffele has currently the second-longest active streak of made cuts, entering The Players with 18 consecutive cuts and sitting at 1-over 145. This should be good enough to ensure his place in the weekend.
Rahm had only withdrawn once before in his career, when he was in the lead after the third round of the Memorial Tournament, but he had to pull out due to testing positive for COVID-19. If Scheffler performs well this weekend, he has the opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking due to his absence for the remainder of the week.
The withdrawal also means that McIlroy and Scheffler now have a great chance to claim the No. 1 ranking this week. Scheffler would regain the No. 1 ranking if he finishes in the top five, according to the OWGR. He was tied with four other golfers at 5th place, having shot a 4-under 68 in the opening
Rahm had been on an incredible run of form, winning five times in his previous nine worldwide starts, including three times on the PGA Tour (Sentry Tournament of Champions, the American Express and the Genesis). He also won the 2021 U.S. Open among his 10 wins on the PGA Tour, finishing as the PGA Tour's leader in earnings that year.
Reactions from the golfing community have been mixed, with some expressing disappointment at Rahm’s withdrawal and others acknowledging the magnitude of his accomplishments throughout the season.
0. “Jon Rahm is forced to pull out of Players Championship” Daily Mail, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-11845643/Jon-Rahm-forced-pull-Players-Championship.html
1. “World number one Jon Rahm withdraws from Players Championship due to illness” Independent.ie, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/world-number-one-jon-rahm-withdraws-from-players-championship-due-to-illness-42380336.html
2. “World No. 1 Jon Rahm withdraws from the Players Championship before second round” Golfweek, 10 Mar. 2023, https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2023/03/10/jon-rahm-withdraws-2023-players-championship/
3. “Jon Rahm withdraws from Players Championship due to illness” ESPN, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/35829269/jon-rahm-withdraws-players-championship-due-illness
4. “Jon Rahm (illness) withdraws from The Players prior to second round” Golf Channel, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.golfchannel.com/news/jon-rahm-illness-withdraws-players-prior-second-round
5. “Jon Rahm withdraws from the Players Championship due to illness” The Florida Times-Union, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.jacksonville.com/story/sports/2023/03/10/john-rahm-withdraws-from-the-players-championship-friday-due-to-illness/69994478007/
6. “Jon Rahm pulls out of Players Championship with ‘bad stomach bug'” New York Post , 10 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/10/jon-rahm-pulls-out-of-players-championship-with-bad-stomach-bug
7. “Rahm plays well, but poor putting denies him an even better round at Sawgrass” Marca, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.marca.com/en/golf/2023/03/09/640a452cca474173178b45b6.html
8. “Jon Rahm withdraws from Players Championship due to illness” ABC News, 10 Mar. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/jon-rahm-withdraws-players-championship-due-illness/story?id=97774715
9. “World No.1 Jon Rahm Out Of Players Championship” Golf Monthly, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.golfmonthly.com/news/world-no1-jon-rahm-out-of-players-championship
10. “World No. 1 Jon Rahm WDs from The Players Championship” Yardbarker, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.yardbarker.com/general_sports/articles/world_no_1_jon_rahm_wds_from_the_players_championship/s1_17051_38562663