PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — World No. 1 golfer Jon Rahm withdrew from the Players Championship shortly before the start of the second round at TPC Sawgrass on Friday because of a stomach illness, according to the PGA Tour.
Rahm, from Spain, carded a 1-under 71 in the first round on Thursday. He was scheduled to play with Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the second straight day. The marquee group was set to tee off at 12:56 p.m. ET on Friday.
Rahm has been the hottest golfer on the planet, 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.
Rahm looked well on his way to making it four victories since January when he grabbed the first-round lead with a 7-under 65 at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he carded a 4-over 76 on Saturday before shooting even par Sunday to tie for 39th. It ended his streak of 10 straight top-10 finishes in worldwide starts and was his worst finish since tying for 55th at the Genesis Scottish Open in July.
Scheffler, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, has a good chance to regain the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking if he plays well this weekend. He would regain the No. 1 ranking if he finishes in the top five, according to the OWGR. He was tied for fifth after posting a 4-under 68 in the first round.
According to the OWGR, McIlroy or Scheffler would move to No. 1 with a victory Sunday. McIlroy was 4 over after the first round and was in danger of missing the cut.