The Players: Jon Rahm not feeling chased as four players look to overtake Spaniard to become world No 1

Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler can all move Jon Rahm at the top of the world rankings at TPC Sawgrass this week; Watch The Players live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players Championship channel

Last Updated: 08/03/22 8:19pm


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World No 1 Jon Rahm says that whoever wins this week’s Players Championship ‘is truly the best in the world’ due to the quality of course and field.

World No 1 Jon Rahm says that whoever wins this week’s Players Championship ‘is truly the best in the world’ due to the quality of course and field.

Jon Rahm admitted he did not realise so many players were in the running to challenge his world No 1 spot at The Players.

Rahm is one of five players who could end the week as world No 1, with Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Scottie Scheffler all having the chance to leapfrog the Spaniard at the top of the world rankings.

The US Open champion has been world No 1 since a tied-third finish at The Open in July and has posted top-10 finishes in three of his six starts so far in this year, with Rahm now looking to improve on his impressive Players record and stay at the top of the standings.

Jon Rahm finished tied-12th and tied-ninth in his last two starts at The Players

Jon Rahm finished tied-12th and tied-ninth in his last two starts at The Players

When asked whether he was concerned about so many chasing him for world No 1, Rahm said: “I had no idea until right now. You should ask if I want to know those things or not!

“Even if you’re No 1 you’ve still got to perform every week. I’m chasing people myself, as well, so no, I don’t feel like I’m being chased.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

“I think it’s a week that a lot of us look forward to. It’s a course that I’ve played well in the past. It’s a challenging golf course, and it’s one that I enjoy. I for the most part enjoy Pete Dye designs.

“I enjoy the challenge that he gives us as players, and you know, it’s a golf course worthy of this tournament and a champion that should be really proud when they’re hoisting the trophy on Sunday because you truly are the best player in the world when you win this week.”

Morikawa: I love putting myself in contention

“I think I just understand and I’ve grasped the nature of where I am in life and what is important, and for me it’s winning,” Morikawa said on Tuesday. “I feel comfortable in that position.

Open champion Collin Morikawa says that the competitors treat The Players Championship as golf's fifth major and players 'breathe differently' when they turn up to TPC Sawgrass.

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Open champion Collin Morikawa says that the competitors treat The Players Championship as golf’s fifth major and players ‘breathe differently’ when they turn up to TPC Sawgrass.

Open champion Collin Morikawa says that the competitors treat The Players Championship as golf’s fifth major and players ‘breathe differently’ when they turn up to TPC Sawgrass.

“I mean, with some people you have to train yourself to be comfortable, and it’s very trainable, but I just love being in these moments. Not necessarily the spotlight, but I love winning and I love putting myself in contention.

“Like I don’t know how it was implemented or put in me or whatever it may be, but that’s just who I am. I’m pretty calm and I go out there and I just want to be in those situations. I think that’s when I thrive the most.”

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March 9, 2022, 2:00pm

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When asked about the significance of The Players to the world’s best, Morikawa added: “You can tell when you step out here like guys are showing up a lot more on a Monday, guys are showing up a lot earlier on a Tuesday.

“There’s a lot more people out here because they’re putting in that extra little prep because they view this as this big tournament. When you show up, you can feel the weight of what The Players means to everyone, and I think that’s the coolest thing.”

Thomas chasing Players history

Reigning Players champion Justin Thomas says that he is not going into this week's tournament 'defending' his title, instead saying he is 'just trying to win it again.'

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Reigning Players champion Justin Thomas says that he is not going into this week’s tournament ‘defending’ his title, instead saying he is ‘just trying to win it again.’

Reigning Players champion Justin Thomas says that he is not going into this week’s tournament ‘defending’ his title, instead saying he is ‘just trying to win it again.’

Justin Thomas has 14 PGA Tour titles to his name but is without a victory since winning this event 12 months ago, with the former world No 1 looking to become the first back-to-back Players champion.

Thomas has four top-10s in his last six starts and is among the pre-tournament favourites in Florida this week, although admitted a conversation with University of Alabama coach Nick Saban gave him a fresh perspective going into this week.

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March 10, 2022, 11:30am

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“Obviously you’re a defending champion, but I don’t have to defend anything,” Thomas said. “I’m not defending this title. The PGA Tour isn’t going to come to my living room and take my Players Championship trophy from 2021 from me after this week. That’s mine forever.

“I don’t have to give anything back, and my name’s always going to be on that trophy. I’m just going to go try to win it again. That’s all I’m going to try to do.”

Watch The Players throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players Championship channel. Live coverage of the opening round begins on Thursday from 11.30am on Sky Sports The Players.



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