Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith face bevy of challengers at rain-delayed Northern Trust


Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith share the lead entering the scheduled Monday finish of the Northern Trust at Liberty National in Jersey City, where Tropical Storm Henri pushed Sunday’s final round a day later.

Rahm, the No. 1 ranked player in the world, and Smith, who shot a course-record 60 in Saturday’s third round, are trailed closely by Eric Van Rooyen at 15-under par and Justin Thomas and Tony Finau at 14-under.

Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland and Tom Hoge are 13-under and well within winning distance, followed by Harold Varner III and Corey Conners at 12-under. Brooks Koepka and Olympic gold medal winner Xander Schauffele are among six players who are 11-under.

The question is whether the weather will hold out long enough.

“We fully expect to play Monday,’’ said John Mutch, the PGA Tour rules official overseeing the tournament. “We really need seven hours. I hope we get a winner Monday.’’

Jon Rahm

The PGA Tour decided before the third round even began that Henri posed too much danger for players, spectators and volunteers. On Sunday, officials surveyed the course and found it to be in reasonable shape.

“Really good for 5 inches of rain,” Mutch said, according to the Associated Press. “They were working on the bunkers when I was there. There’s not a whole lot of standing water. I was pleased. I’ve seen a lot worse.”

If for some reason half of the field is unable to complete the round on Monday it will be nullified and the winner will be determined by a playoff between Rahm and Smith.

For the players, Sunday was a rare day off. The last time the PGA Tour had an entire round postponed was at the Zozo Championship outside Tokyo in the fall of 2019.

“There’s worse cities to be stuck in,” Lowry said. “I’m sure I’ll find something to do.”

There’s a lot at stake Monday aside from the winner. The top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings after this tournament advance to the BMW Championship, which begins Thursday outside Baltimore.

Keith Mitchell, who’s No. 101 on the points list, is in a six-way tie for 11th place and currently is projected to move up to No. 69, which would get him into the BMW Championship. Hoge is at No. 108 and in a three-way tie for sixth and projected to move to No. 57.

Rahm said after his round on Saturday he was trying to seize the tournament lead by the end of the third round in case the final round had to be completely scrapped because of the weather.

“I didn’t want to leave it up to chance,” Rahm said.

The Monday finish will be televised beginning at 9 a.m. on the Golf Channel.

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