Rahm starts his number one defense at the World Cup

The Spanish will play the WGC St. Jude, his first tournament as the leader of the world ranking. McIlroy and Thomas could snatch first place from him on Sunday.


The TPC Southwind will be the place where Jon Rahm premieres the world number one. The Memphis course will host the fourth edition of the World Golf Championships (WGC) this season, although one was canceled due to the pandemic. The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational will be the prelude to next week's PGA Championship, the first major post-pandemic, and this World Cup is one of the most important events of the year.

Rahm will arrive at this tournament wearing the number one achieved with his victory two weeks ago at the Memorial. Barrika's rested last week, seeking to gather strength. "There are 6 major events coming (WGC, PGA, three FedExCup Playoffs and US Open) in 8 weeks. I hope to play well and enter the streak," he said in the preview.

Jon reaches the decisive stage of the season at a good time, having recovered his best golf and with the number one prize. "In the quarantine I set goals, and being number one was one of them. It is a consequence of playing good, consistent golf for a long time. It is an honor, I need to continue playing like this. It is not just getting here, the thing is stay, "he commented of his milestone. As a curiosity, Rahm set the record for the fewest hits in one lap of this TPC Southwind last year (62, eight under par). Jon arrives as the betting favorite for the final victory.

But, in addition to looking for 550 FedExCup points (in which he ranks 8th) and the total of $ 10 million in prizes to be distributed, Jon's goal will be to defend his number one, threatened by Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Among the up to 9 scenarios in which the Northern Irishman would recover number one, the clearest is if he won the tournament, in which case Rahm could do nothing. A Thomas victory could also take Rahm's place, but there the Spaniard would have a chance to defend his throne. As long as Sunday finishes better than these two players, there'll be no problem keeping him on top of the world lead for another week.

Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio García will be the other two Spaniards in the tournament, which they arrive with the aim of doing a good role consolidating themselves in good positions within the FedExCup ranking. Who will not go to Memphis will be Tiger Woods, winner 8 times of this Invitational (although in another field), who decided to reserve for the PGA Championship next week.

Despite Tiger's loss, the tournament will be full of world-class stars, with a poster similar to that of the Memorial. The top eight, and 45 of the top 50 ranked golfers at the OWGR will be in Memphis, more than at any tournament this year. Koepka - winner of this tournament last year -, DeChambeau, Simpson, Reed, Spieth, Morikawa, Dustin Johnson - already recovered from his back problems -, Schauffele, Matsuyama, Hovland, Finau, Woodland, Day, Poulter, Fleetwood, Fowler , Mickelson, Stenson ... all of these names and more will fight for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Photos from as.com
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