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January 18, 2021

Tournament favorite Jon Rahm withdraws from The American Express

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Cliff Hawkins

Jon Rahm withdrew from The American Express on Monday.

The World No. 2 was listed by oddsmakers as the tournament favorite, and for good reason. Aside from posting six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, Rahm won the former Desert Classic in 2018 and followed with a strong title defense in 2019, ultimately finishing sixth.

No reason was given for Rahm’s WD as of Monday afternoon. Golf Channel reported on Tuesday via Rahm’s manager, Jeff Koski, that he had tweaked a muscle while practicing. (Koski said Rahm is still planning to play next week’s Farmers Insurance Open.) Rahm turned in a T-7 performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago. It was his first outing since switching from TaylorMade to Callaway equipment.

Brandon Hagy will take Rahm’s place in the field, with Patrick Cantlay the new betting favorite in Rahm’s absence.

This year’s The American Express is without its usual pro-am format due to California COVID-19 restrictions, and will be conducting the tournament over two venues (PGA West’s Stadium and Nicklaus courses) rather than its traditional three.