The Players Championship: Rahm withdraws due to illness

By Sports Desk March 10, 2023

World number one Jon Rahm withdrew from The Players Championship ahead of his second round due to illness.

Rahm carded a one-under 71 in the opening round, leaving him seven strokes behind overnight leader Chad Ramey, but he was unable to compete on Friday.

Confirmation of Rahm's withdrawal from the PGA Tour's flagship event came less than an hour before he was scheduled to tee off at TPC Sawgrass.

The 28-year-old, who previously won The Players Championship in 2020, had been chasing a sixth victory in 11 worldwide starts.

He had been due to play in a marquee group alongside Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the second straight day.

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  • The Open: McIlroy and DeChambeau miss the cut as Lowry takes lead The Open: McIlroy and DeChambeau miss the cut as Lowry takes lead

    Rory McIlroy has missed the cut in the second round of The Open, having failed to improve on his dismal score from the first.

    The Northern Irishman had hopes of clinching a first major title in a decade, but his wait will stretch into an 11th year after carding 75 on Friday.

    McIlroy went round in a seven-over par 78 in the first round and continued to toil at Royal Troon as he finished 11 over.

    Bryson DeChambeau, who pipped McIlroy to the U.S. Open title at Pinehurst last month, did not fare much better.

    On the back of his best major run to date, finishing tied sixth at The Masters before finishing as a runner-up at the PGA Championship, the American came unstuck in Scotland once more, shooting 75 to finish nine over.

    Meanwhile, Shane Lowry holds the lead going into the weekend, recovering brilliantly from a double bogey to give himself a two-stroke lead over Daniel Brown and Justin Rose (both on five under).

    Rose finished strongly, holing his putt on the 18th from a long way out to finish with a three-under 68 for the day to put himself into contention for a first Claret Jug.

    The Scottish Open winner Robert MacIntyre also staged a remarkable comeback. Having played the first four holes in eight over, he scored four under on the next 14 to make the cut.

    Scottie Scheffler (two under) and Xander Schauffele (one under) also kept themselves in with a chance.

  • The Open: Lowry pleased with double-bogey response on way to clubhouse lead The Open: Lowry pleased with double-bogey response on way to clubhouse lead

    Shane Lowry says he is feeling "calm and composed" after recovering from a double-bogey to establish the clubhouse lead on day two at The Open.

    The 2019 champion began the day at five under at Royal Troon - a shot behind leader Daniel Brown - and birdied the first, fourth and eight holes to reach seven under at the turn.

    However, things started to go wrong on the notorious par-four 11th, when a stray tee shot into the rough was followed by a hook into a gorse bush, with Lowry having to settle for six and moving back to par for the day.

    Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman held his nerve in the windy conditions, with four successive pars followed by two birdies on the final three holes.

    The second of these saw him roll in a beautiful 20-footer, and Lowry was thrilled by the way he responded to the setback to put himself in a promising position.

    "I was in control of my ball and did all the right things for a lot of the round," he told reporters. "Then when I got in a bit of trouble, I feel like I really finished the round well.

    "I'm pretty happy with the day. To be leading this tournament after two days; it's why you come here, it's why we're here.

    "The job tomorrow as well is to try to put myself in a position to win this tournament on Sunday, and that's what I'll try and do."

    "I have felt quite calm and composed the last couple of days. I've felt really in my comfort zone. To shoot in the 60s is very good any day on this course, even when the conditions aren't this bad. I'm very happy."

  • The Open: Woods to miss cut after finishing 14 over, plans to play next year The Open: Woods to miss cut after finishing 14 over, plans to play next year

    Tiger Woods suggested he will play The Open again next year after a six-over final round ensured he would miss the cut at the 2024 event at Royal Troon.

    Woods entered Friday's second round needing a big turnaround after carding an eight-over 79 on Thursday, but he struggled again as his major season came to a premature end.

    He shot 77 to finish 14 over par with the projected cut line at four over. Having finished 60th at the Masters, he also failed to make the weekend at the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.

    The 15-time major champion lamented his physical struggles when speaking to reporters at the end of his round.

    "I was just fighting it pretty much all day," Woods said. "I never really hit it close enough to make birdies and consequently made a lot of bogeys.

    "I loved it. I've always loved playing major championships. I just wish I was more physically sharp coming into the majors.

    "Obviously it tests you mentally, physically, emotionally, and I just wasn't as sharp as I needed to be. I was hoping that I would find it somehow, but just never did.

    "Consequently, my results and scores were pretty high."

    Woods will not compete again until the Hero World Challenge, an event he hosts in the Bahamas in December, despite previously targeting one event per month in 2024.

    He does, however, plan to return for the 153rd Open next year, which will take place at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

    "As a past champion, I’m exempt until I'm 60," he said. "I've enjoyed the challenges that Scotland brings, I've missed playing Troon. 

    "I've had some good memories here and just wish I did a little bit better, but I look forward to that."

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