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Why Jon Rahm carries Tiger Woods stage expectations as overwhelming favorite at Royal St George’s


There was a time when Tiger Woods was anticipated to win each golf event he entered.

Right here at Royal St George’s, there’s a related feeling of inevitability surrounding Jon Rahm and The 149th Open.

It’s difficult to look past the US Open champion this week

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It’s troublesome to look previous the US Open champion this week

It was solely a matter of time earlier than his first Main triumph ultimately month’s US Open – and now many contemplate the floodgates breached.

Earlier than Torrey Pines, Rahm was withdrawn from the Memorial Event on account of COVID after the third spherical, denying a sure victory, with the Spaniard six photographs clear and taking part in scintillating golf.

The 26-year-old got here again with an exciting efficiency in San Diego, which was adopted by a seventh-place end ultimately week’s Scottish Open, ending up simply two photographs again after 4 rounds within the sixties.

Having gained the Irish Open twice and ending tied for 11th at his debut Open in 2019, Rahm is constructed for hyperlinks golf.

Rahm was on fire in practice

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Rahm was on fireplace in follow

All these issues – the astonishing type coupled with a perfectly-suited recreation for the take a look at of St George’s – have been on show throughout Wednesday’s follow spherical.

That includes in a star-studded foursome with Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, adopted by the type of crowd you’ll count on on Sunday, it was Rahm who impressed essentially the most ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’.

Such an awesome favorite is sort of unprecedented at The Open, particularly at such an unpredictable venue, however to observe Rahm immediately was to grasp why.

In fact, one mistake can change all that, however even St George’s, regardless of its love of an underdog, permits the cream to rise close to the highest.

A big crowd descended on Kent to watch the players practice – and they were treated to this group

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A giant crowd descended on Kent to observe the gamers follow – and so they have been handled to this group

Tiger was solely two behind Ben Curtis in 2003, regardless of a triple bogey on his opening gap, whereas Darren Clarke nonetheless needed to battle off Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson in 2011.

With softer, fairer circumstances in Sandwich, this Open might observe the script, prefer it did in 1993 when Greg Norman confirmed his class, or when Sandy Lyle gained in 1985.

Moderately fittingly, given the extent of expectation, Rahm might change into the primary man since Tiger in 2000 to win each the US Open and The Open in a season.

However talkSPORT’s Rupert Bell has seen sufficient scripts ripped up earlier than his eyes to know when it’s about to occur.

And our golf correspondent isn’t backing a Rahm victory this week.

Rahm lost his place as world no. 1 to DJ earlier this week

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Rahm misplaced his place as world no. 1 to DJ earlier this week

Rupert mentioned: “I’m positive he’s going to be proper within the combine, as a result of he’s clearly in such a snug place.

“He’s been speaking about not tweaking something, everybody anticipated him to win a Main and he did it in essentially the most sensible style.

“However I simply assume to try to win the US Open and Open Championship in the identical 12 months is a giant ask, solely 5 males have completed it earlier than. Tiger did it in 2000.

“It’s exhausting sufficient profitable one. It was such an emotional excessive for him, he’d simply had a child, all the pieces’s good in his life. However I believe historical past is in opposition to him doing it.”

There is no future in the rough this week

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There is no such thing as a future within the tough this week

So if not Rahm, then who?

Rupert added: “This place throws up shock winners. When you look by means of the roll of honour, it’s not all stellar names. Sure, you’ve received Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle.

“However you take a look at Invoice Rodgers, Ben Curtis, and Darren Clarke.

“So who this 12 months? I’ve received a number of admiration for Scottie Scheffler, he appears to have a very good {golfing} mind and may very well be proper within the hunt.

Are we all forgetting about Jordan Spieth?

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Are all of us forgetting about Jordan Spieth?

“I additionally just like the look of Robert MacIntyre, the lefty from Oban in Scotland, the place I performed lots in my childhood at his golf course – in order that could be coronary heart over head!

“I do assume Jordan Spieth must be revered. He’s gone underneath the radar, I’ve hardly learn a single factor about him this week and I believe, ‘Why?’”

You’ll find out on talkSPORT 2 this weekend, by means of our dwell ball-by-ball protection, with common updates from the course on talkSPORT





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