Golf Glance: Jon Rahm slight favorite in No. 1 debut

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


LAST TOURNAMENT: 3M Open (Michael Thompson)

Jon Rahm
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

THIS WEEK: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, July 30-Aug. 2
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn. (par 70, 7,277 yards)
Purse: $10.5 million (Winner: $1,788,000)
Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka
FedEx Cup leader: Justin Thomas
TV: Thursday-Friday: 2-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 12-2 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-7 p.m. (CBS)

NOTES: This was originally the week scheduled for the men’s Olympic golf event in Japan. … Koepka will also be defending at next week’s PGA Championship. He is 155th in the FedEx Cup standings with only three weeks remaining until the playoffs. … The 78-player field features the top eight players in the official world golf rankings and 45 of the top 50. … Henrik Stenson will make his first start since the PGA Tour resumed last month. … Rickie Fowler has 12 top-10s in 29 previous starts in WGC events. … Jordan Spieth’s last top-10 in a WGC event was a T3 at the St. Jude four years ago. … Patrick Reed won the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this year and is seeking to become the first player since Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama in 2017-17 to win multiple WGC events in a season. … Viktor Hovland is making his first start in a WGC event and is the highest-ranked rookie in the FedEx Cup standings at No. 23. … Dustin Johnson returns after withdrawing after the first round of the 3M Open due to a back injury. He is also a two-time winner at TPC Southwind.

BEST BETS: Jon Rahm (+1000 by PointsBet) is coming off a victory in his last start at the Memorial Tournament and makes his first start as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. He also shares the event’s 18-hole scoring record (62) with second-ranked Rory McIlroy (+1100), who finished T4 at TPC Southwind last year. … Justin Thomas (+1100) continues to lead the FedEx Cup standings and is already a two-time winner on Tour this season. … Webb Simpson (+2200) finished runner-up last year and has two wins in his past six starts. … Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (+2500) has not won since 2017, but two of his five career wins on Tour have come in WGC events. … Daniel Berger (+2800) won consecutive FedEx St. Jude Classic titles in 2016 and ’17 and won the Charles Schwab Challenge last month. … Marc Leishman (+6000) offers long odds for a player with a win and a runner-up this season who also finished third in this event last year.

Martin Kaymer. (Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports)

THIS WEEK: Barracuda Championship, July 30-Aug. 2
Tahoe Mountain Club (Old Greenwood Golf Course), Truckee, Calif. (par 71, 7,390 yards)
Purse: $3.5 million (Winner: $630 ,000)
Defending Champion: Collin Morikawa
TV: Thursday-Friday, 7-9:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 7-10 p.m. (GC)

NOTES: The alternate-field event is the only tournament on Tour to use the Modified Stableford scoring system that awards eight points for a double-eagle, five points for an eagle and three points for a birdie. Players are docked a point for a bogey and two points for anything higher. … The Tahoe Mountain Club takes over as the host venue from fellow Jack Nicklaus design the Blue Course at Montreux G&CC). … The winner earns a spot in the U.S. Open, as will the top two players not otherwise exempt within the top 10 and ties. … Morikawa won with a plus-24 score last year, becoming the fourth consecutive winner to earn his first Tour victory in the event. He is not defending his title as he is playing in the WGC event. … Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer will make his 2019-20 PGA Tour season debut.

NEXT WEEK: PGA Championship, Harding Park, San Francisco


Nelly Korda
Nelly Korda. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

LAST TOURNAMENT: Women’s Australian Open (Inbee Park)
THIS WEEK: Drive On Championship, July 31-Aug. 2
Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio (par 71, 7,431 yards)
Purse: $1 million
Defending Champion: Inaugural event
Race to the CME Globe leader: Park
TV: Friday, 9-11:30 a.m. ET; Saturday, 4:30-7 p.m.; Sunday, 5-17 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

NOTES: This will be the LPGA’s return to competition following a 166-day hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event will take place without spectators. … The 144-player field does not include any of the top eight-ranked players from South Korea, including No. 1 Jin Young Ko, who chose not to travel to Ohio ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open and the Women’s Open.

NEXT WEEK: The Marathon Classic, Sylvania, Ohio

Champions Tour

Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer. (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

LAST TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic (Ernie Els)

THIS WEEK: The Ally Challenge, July 31-Aug. 2
Warwick Hills G&CC, Grand Blanc, Mich. (par 71, 7,431 yards)
Purse: $2 million (Winner: $300,000)
Defending Champion: Jerry Kelly
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Bernhard Langer
TV: Friday: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET; Saturday, 2-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

NOTES: This marks the Champions tour’s first event since March 8, a span of 145 days. … The 81-player field will include three players who have turned 50 since the last event: Jim Furyk, K.J. Choi and Mike weir. Furyk has 17 career PGA Tour victories, including a win at Warwick Hills in 2003. … Miguel Angel Jimenez is the only one of the five winners on tour this season not in the field. He is scheduled to return at the Senior Players. … Jack Nicklaus’ son, Gary, is playing on a sponsor exemption. … Langer has a win and four top-10 finishes in five starts this year. … Els, who won his first Champions event in the tour’s most recent event, played in two PGA Tour events since competition resumed last month.

NEXT EVENT: Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri, Aug. 19-21

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