Jon Rahm’s Players Championship has come to an early end.
On Friday afternoon, the reigning World No. 1 WD’d from the Players Championship due to illness, ending his run at the PGA Tour’s flagship event before the start of his second round. Rahm’s second round had been scheduled to tee off at 12:56 p.m. local time, but the 28-year-old Spaniard withdrew from the tournament shortly before 12:40 p.m. Tour officials and the NBC broadcast said a “stomach bug” was to blame for the decision.
Prior to this week, Rahm had been one of the hottest golfers alive, riding a stretch of dominance that reasserted him as the top-ranked golfer in the world and brought two early season PGA Tour victories at the American Express and Genesis Invitational.
The Players is the first tournament Rahm will play without reaching the weekend since the Fortinet Championship in September 2021, ending the Tour’s longest streak of consecutive made cuts at 25.
There is a certain irony to Rahm’s made-cut streak ending here at the Players — the same tournament and week the PGA Tour announced a series of systemic changes including, namely, a new series of eight no-cut events. The new “designated events” format has arrived to much controversy at the Tour, though Rahm took his pre-tournament press conference to voice his support of the changes.
“I haven’t had anybody coming to me disappointed about the changes, but a lot of people don’t like change at first,” Rahm said. “I can see the logic in what they are disapproving of, but I think in the long run once you take a step back and you realize it truly is the best for everybody, it’s the best product for the PGA Tour, I think they will understand.”
Now, Rahm will watch from home as the Tour hands out its largest-ever purse at its fourth designated event since debuting the new format. It’s likely we’ll see the World No. 1 again until later this month at the next designated event on the Tour schedule, the Dell Match Play in Austin.