By Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2023

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jon Rahm withdrew from The Players Championship on Friday because of a stomach illness, leaving the strongest field of the year without its No. 1 player.

Rahm opened with a 71. He was due to play with second-ranked Scottie Scheffler and third-ranked Rory McIlroy in the second round.

He pulled out some 30 minutes before his tee time with what his manager referred to as a “bad stomach bug.”

Rahm already is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, allowing him to regain the No. 1 ranking. Scheffler and McIlroy could overtake him this week depending on how they fare. McIlroy, who shot 76 on the first day, first had to try to make the cut.

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