01/05/2022 at 4:43 PM CET
Jon Rahm kicks off the year on the PGA Tour in Hawaii, starting this Thursdayalmost three months after his last appearance, which was in Valderrama on the occasion of the Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters.
Exactly 83 days will pass that the Barrika lion has been without competing, regaining strength and the hunger for victory after 2021 that led him to win his first ‘Major’, the US Open, and stay at the top of the world reign.
After resting with his wife and little boy in Arizona, his habitual residence, and spending Christmas in Bilbao – he even went to see his beloved Athleti against Madrid-, Rahm starts the new season with strength in the tournament that brings together the 2021 champions.
The best, on the Sentry
The Sentry Tournament of Champions, which starts this Thursday, will be a first high-level test for the Spanish, since it will have as rivals 39 of the 40 PGA Tour winners and the world’s best players.
The main absences are Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, who will start the season on DP World Tour, as well as South African Louis Oosthuizen. And among the rivals in his first appearance of the year will be the American Collin Morikawa, who directly threatens Rahm’s reign at world number one. The world number two, who won the ‘Race to Dubai’ after the Basque’s resignation to participate, is presented this week as the candidate to evict Rahm from the world title, in a tournament that also distributes many points for the world ranking.
Numbers to maintain the reign
Spanish aims win the tournament or finish second alone, which would keep him number one. Everything would change if Morikawa wins the tournament and Rahm does not achieve second place alone. There are more combinations so the Barrika will have to go all out in Hawaii.
For now, the number one will start the tournament in Kapalua with the American, Xander Schauffele, and to follow the Spanish in action -which starts at 0035 on Friday-, It will be necessary to stay up late as the hours are at dawn.