Jack Hirsh

January 21, 2023

Davis Thompson can be a transparent underdog Sunday.

Getty Photographs

The 2 gamers in Sunday’s remaining pairing at The American Specific couldn’t be in additional totally different locations of their careers.

Jon Rahm is within the midst of the height of his profession and in the course of an excellent run with eight top-10s in his final 9 worldwide begins.

In the meantime, Davis Thompson, who shares the lead with Rahm going into the ultimate spherical, has only one high 10 on the PGA Tour in his quick profession.

3 storylines heading into The American Specific remaining spherical


Jack Hirsh

The rookie jumped out to a two-shot lead by two rounds, because of a PGA Tour record-tying 5 eagles, however cooled off Saturday and now finds himself in a battle with the most well liked golfer on the planet.

Evidently, the oddsmakers are favoring Rahm, considerably. The favourite coming into the week is -175 to win Sunday, in accordance with BetMGM, whereas Thompson is +300. Nobody else has odds higher than +2800 because the pair is 4 away from the remainder of the sector.

Thompson wasn’t shocked.

“For positive, I’m taking part in in opposition to Jon Rahm,” the 23-year-old mentioned when requested if he felt like an underdog after the spherical. “I really feel like everyone would decide me because the underdog.”

Thompson is making simply his twentieth PGA Tour begin, but it surely’s not like he doesn’t know tips on how to win. The Univerisity of Georgia product had a standout newbie profession, twice changing into the No. 1 participant within the World Novice Golf Rating.

He spent only one season on Korn Ferry Tour after ending sixteenth on the Korn Ferry season factors record in 2022, thanks partly to his first professional win on the REX Hospital Open.

This week additionally isn’t the primary time he’s been within the lead on the PGA Tour. Shortly after leaving faculty, he shot 63 within the opening spherical of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Basic to guide by two. He finally completed tied for 58th.

“I’ve been on this place earlier than,” Thompson mentioned. “It’s simply not— it was simply on the Korn Ferry Tour final yr and it was in newbie golf and in junior golf. However now it’s on one of many greatest levels. So it’s thrilling to form of check my nerves and check my skill and I’m wanting ahead to it.”

He’s additionally wanting ahead to being the underdog.

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Kevin Cunningham

“I form of relish that label, I suppose,” he mentioned. “I simply attempt to exit and do my very own factor and attempt to to not let something hassle me.”

It’s not like he hasn’t performed simply in addition to Rahm this week. He does, nonetheless, have one thing else working in opposition to him.

Thompson had journey points attending to Palm Springs, and with the distinctive nature of the match being performed on three programs, he solely obtained to play holes 14-16 on the PGA West Stadium Course for the primary time Saturday. He solely obtained in tee photographs on 17 and 18.

He performed that run in even par. That form of factor is a part of being a rookie on tour. Now he’s obtained some added confidence on that stretch going into tomorrow, he mentioned.

And regardless of this being the primary time he’s ever been on this spot on the PGA Tour, he sounds fairly relaxed heading into Sunday.

“I really feel like I don’t have something to lose in my rookie yr. Simply form of freewheel it,” Thompson mentioned. “However I’m excited to play with Jon. He’s clearly a top-5 participant on the planet. He’s excellent. However I’m excited in regards to the problem and simply wanting ahead to tomorrow.”

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn State College, incomes levels in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his highschool golf workforce and nonetheless *tries* to stay aggressive in native amateurs. Earlier than becoming a member of GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but additionally producing, anchoring and even presenting the climate. He may be reached at [email protected]



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