Rahm in San Diego and McIlroy in Dubai, long distance duel for world number 1


Next Monday the 30th Jon Rahm finally get back to the top of the world rankings. From this Wednesday to Saturday (this day ends to avoid the timing of the NFL conference finals) the Basque compete in one of their favorite courses and tournaments, the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines (San Diego) and if he is in the top 3 in the scoring event of PGA Tourwill be new world number 1 dethroning Rory McIlroywho by the way has arrived as a warrior in Dubai where as of this Thursday he is making his debut in DP World Tour (European Tour) this 2023.

Both are physically separated by more than 13,500 kilometers and twelve hours on the clock. Rahm depends on himself to return to Number One in the world ten months later. The last time, on March 26, 2022. He lost it during the week of the WGC Match Play in Austin (Texas). If Rahm wins the Farmers this week, the man from Barrika will be at the top of the rankings regardless of what McIlroy does in Dubai. That means, if both get the win, Rahm will be first on the list when the OGWR rankings are updated this Monday.

At Torrey Pines, Rahm launched his list of professional victories on the PGA Tour in 2017 and in 2021 he won his first ‘major’, the Open the USA. Jon is coming up to win Sunday at La Fifth (California) and three weeks ago Maui (Hawaii). Barrika’s lion performs on Wednesdays and Thursdays with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau. The world number three and leader of the FedEx Cup will start this Wednesday from tee 1 of the south course at 7:40 pm Spanish peninsular time (Movistar Golf) with ninth in the world list and PGA champion in 2022 (Thomas) and the 12th in rank (Finau). On the 10th tee and on the north course, Rahm’s second round begins this Thursday at 6:30 pm Spanish time. The final two days will be played on the south course at Torrey Pines.

Rahm is also aiming to match the Northern Irishman’s three-game winning streak on the American circuit, which began in 2014. McIlroy chained his hat trick to British Open and PGA Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational in the summer of 9 years ago. Rahm can do the same this Saturday in San Diego: Tournament of Champions, The American Express and now the Farmers.

McIlroy ignores Reed and Sergio

Regarding the European Tour that started last week in Abu Dhabi, it continues to be disputed by Dubai Desert Classic, at the Emirates Golf Club and as part of Rolex series It has a prize pool that reaches 9 million dollars. A tournament where there are 9 Spaniards: Adrián Otaegui, Adri Arnaus, Pablo Larrazábal, Rafa Cabrera, Jorge Campillo, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Santiago Tarrio, Ángel Hidalgo and Nacho Elvira. The tournament will be televised live on Movistar Golf, this Thursday, January 26, from 5:00 am to 10:30 am in the original version and from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm with commentary in Spanish, the same slots where the second round will air on Friday 27th. On weekends, from 5:00 am to 10:00 am in the original version and from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm with narration in Spanish for the third round, on Saturday, January 28, and for the fourth and finally, on Sunday, the 29th.

Rory McIlroy debuts in 2023. He is a two-time winner of the tournament and has finished outside the top 10 just once in his 10 professional appearances. Viktor Hovland did not return to defend his title. The tournament features 10 players who are part of LIV Golf, including Henrik Stenson and Patrick Reed. Reed missed the cut last week in Abu Dhabi and as published by the specialized portal ‘Tengolf’, along with special envoys in the Middle East he was the main actor in an unpleasant incident on the training field. Reed comes over to congratulate Rory and his caddy, and #1 completely ‘passes’ on the American. “I’ve never seen him come at me,” McIlroy said at a news conference on Wednesday. And as he admitted, he didn’t notice that Reed, when he found Rory refusing to return the greeting, threw a few tees at him in a sarcastic manner. “I had my back turned, but that’s what happened. If it had been the other way around, and I had thrown some tees at him, now I would be waiting for a lawsuit … ”, said the Northern Irishman with sarcasm.

But there was more, at the press conference McIlroy was asked about the possibility of his ‘other’ friend Sergio García being selected by captain Luke Donald for the Ryder Cup team. This Wednesday it became clear that Rory, heavyweight of the European team and therefore of the circuit, would not be comfortable with such a possibility. The special emissaries of the ‘ten golfs’ asked him if he saw any way to repair his broken relationship with the man from Castellón, considering the possibility (almost none) that he would be together with Ryder, and his answer was laconic: “No.”.

Source: La Verdad


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