Jon Rahm returns this week from an enforced month off and the world number one should be ready to justify his status as favourite for The Northern Trust.
For the second time this year, a positive Covid test rattled Rahm and he had to shelve plans to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
Instead of jetting to Japan, the Spaniard has been resting at home with his wife and young child, so he has had a chance to fully recharge his batteries after a busy summer.
Nobody was more consistent than Rahm in this year’s Majors. He finished fifth in the Masters despite having to delay his arrival at Augusta to be at his son’s birth, then eighth in the US PGA, first in the US Open and third in the Open Championship. It is no surprise to see an
8/1 quote against his name for The Northern Trust.
The last time this tournament was staged at Liberty National, Rahm opened with a 64 and finished third, so he has already shown a liking to the layout. There seems a fair chance he will end the week atop the FedEx standings.
Pacesetting Morikawa Can Stay In FedEx Hunt
The most likely man to stop Rahm in New Jersey this week is arguably
16/1 chance Collin Morikawa, who currently holds top spot in the FedEx standings.
Morikawa became only the second player to get their name on both the Wanamaker Trophy (US PGA) and the Claret Jug before their 25th birthday when winning the Open Championship at Royal St George’s last month. The other man to achieve that feat is Tiger Woods – and Morikawa is well on his way to becoming a golfing great.
The healthy odds against Morikawa’s name this week may be down to the fact he was tailed off in the 2019 edition of this tournament at Liberty National.
It must be noted, though, that he had turned professional only two months prior and was lacking experience at the highest level.
Two years later, he returns as the world number three. The small greens of Liberty National put a premium on accurate approach-play – and nobody on the planet is more dangerous with an iron in hand than Morikawa.
Mickelson May Have Some Magic up Sleeve
Phil Mickelson is an attractive outsider at
125/1 this week. Lefty is a Liberty National member – only the rich and famous can get a place at this expensive venue – so he knows the layout better than most.
In 2013, Mickelson finished sixth in this event at Liberty National, then he excelled there in the 2017 Presidents Cup.
Representing the United States, Phil The Thrill won three and a half points from four matches, partnering Kevin Kisner in the pairs sessions.
The fact Kisner has just won the Wyndham Championship and propelled himself into the Ryder Cup reckoning could easily inspire Mickelson to make a late surge for Team USA.
Mickelson has said he has been struggling for focus in the wake of his US PGA triumph in May, but the Ryder Cup carrot may be enough to see him click back into gear.
*All odds correct at time of writing.