Players Championship: No. 1 Jon Rahm Withdrawal Stuns Fans

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The field in The Players Championship just got a lot more wide open with world No. 1 Jon Rahm withdrawing Friday due to a stomach illness, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

The devastating news will end his streak of 25 consecutive cuts made and promptly put a halt to what was thus far a dominant golf season for the Spaniard. Rahm overpowered Colin Morikawa to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January before winning The American Express and Genesis Invitational to ascend back to the apex of the World Golf Rankings. He leads the PGA Tour with six top-10 finishes this year.

The 28-year-old tallied a 1-under par 71 in the opening round of The Players Championship on Thursday. He teed off with a star-studded grouping that included Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy (No. 2 and 3, respectively). He has put together big weekends before, so there was no telling how Rahm was going to fare the rest of the way on Jacksonville’s TPC Sawgrass.

The door is now open for everyone else to make up some points on the 2021 U.S. Open Champion. Scheffler is currently at 5-under through 10 holes of the second round and just a few strokes off the leader Christiaan Bezuidenhout (could be subject to change). Both Scheffler and McIlroy would supplant Rahm as the new No. 1 golfer if they win the tournament.

This is the latest bit of disappointing news for the crowd, who was also denied the opportunity to see the 2022 winner Cameron Smith defend his title due to his affiliation with LIV Golf.

The remaining players should still be able to put on a show for fans and ensure that “golf’s fifth major” maintains its usual prestige.

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