PREVIEW-Golf-Johnson and Rahm set for battle in playoff finale

Sept 3- The PGA Tour wraps up a season unlike any other with this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta where the winner from an elite 30- player field will be crowned FedExCup champion and take home an eye-popping $15 million. Due to a staggered scoring system that gives a head start to the top players in the points standings, Dustin Johnson will begin at 10 under par,…

Sept 3 (Reuters) – The PGA Tour wraps up a season unlike any other with this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta where the winner from an elite 30-player field will be crowned FedExCup champion and take home an eye-popping $15 million.

Due to a staggered scoring system that gives a head start to the top players in the points standings, Dustin Johnson will begin at 10 under par, followed by Spaniard Jon Rahm at eight under and former FedExCup champion Justin Thomas at seven under.

Yet despite the early edge to begin the third playoff event, East Lake has not been kind to favourites as the top seed has been winless over the last 10 Tour Championships.

“It’s not like I’ve got a two-shot lead going into the final round. I’ve still got four rounds to play,” said Johnson, who is seeking his first FedExCup title in his PGA Tour-best 12th consecutive Tour Championship appearance.

“I’m still going to have to go out and play some really good golf for four days.”

Johnson enters the final event of a season that resumed in June after a three-month COVID-19 hiatus in top form having won the first playoff event before falling to Rahm in a playoff at last week’s BMW Championship.

Rahm, who with his win vaulted seven spots up the standings, said he prefers being the pursuer rather than starting with a target on his back like Johnson.

“Oh, there’s a difference, yeah. You essentially have the pressure of the FedExCup on your shoulders four days in a row, even though you still need to play really good golf for four rounds,” said Rahm. “If you’re behind it almost helps just because you have — you already know where the leader is at.”

Rory McIlroy, who earlier on Thursday announced that his first child was born on Monday, returns as defending champion and will start the Tour Championship seven shots off Johnson.

Webb Simpson, who has three top-10 finishes at East Lake, will start at six under while PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa will start a further shot adrift. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Toby Davis)

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.