How do the leading players perform when teeing it up the week after a Major?

Dustin Johnson looked to be suffering a hangover from Royal St George’s after missing the cut in this week’s 3M Open but is it part of a wider trend?

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Playing the week after a Major can be tough for the game's elite.

How do you get yourself up after the big one? Is it simply inevitable that you'll slightly be going through the motions and not be fully focused?

That seemed to be the case with Dustin Johnson this week as he followed a decent tied eighth in the Open Championship by missing the cut at the 3M Open.

However, there's another school of thought that says by trying to peak for a Major, your game will still be sharp for the tournament straight after.

Combine that with a more relaxed mindset and these post-Major events could present a good opportunity to win.

So how do the top 10 in the world perform the week after a Major? Planet Sport investigates.

Jon Rahm

The current World No.1 seems to have decided that playing the week after a Major isn't for him: he hasn't done so since 2019. Perhaps that was due to missing the cut at the 2019 Charles Scwhab a week after the PGA. However, Rahm has shown that he can thrive if the incentive is there. In 2018 he followed a fourth place in the Masters by flying home and winning the Open de Espana. And the last time he got straight back on the bike, the US Open hero followed tied 11th in the 2019 Open with seventh in the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

Dustin Johnson

It hasn't worked out for DJ this week but does he have a history of flopping after a Major? Not exactly. Earlier this year he posted tied 13th at Hilton Head after a missed cut at the Masters while he took tied 25th in the Travelers Championship after a tied 19th in the US Open. Back in 2019 he came tied 28th at Hilton Head after a tied second at Augusta and later followed tied 51st in the Open with tied 20th in the WGC-FedEx St Jude. His last five post-Major finishes show MC-T25-T13-T20-T28 which is fairly average but wind back to 2018 and he landed the Canadian Open a week after missing the cut in the Open.

Collin Morikawa

The Open champ teed it up twice after a Major in 2021 and performed pretty well: tied 14th at the Charles Schwab after tied eighth in the PGA and tied seventh at the Heritage following tied 18th at Augusta. Prior to that, the only other example is tied 36th at the Travelers after a tied 35th in the US Open, his first Major start.

Justin Thomas

Thomas had to settle for tied 40th in this year's Charles Schwab after a missed cut in the PGA while his two post-Major outings in 2019 produced tied 12th in the WGC-FedEx St Jude after tied 11th in the Open and tied 36th in the Travelers following a missed cut in the US Open. Wind back to 2018 and he was tied 56th in the Travelers after a tied 25th in the US Open while he followed a tied ninth in the 2017 US Open with a Travelers missed cut. It means his last five post-Major results read: 40-12-36-56-MC.

Xander Schauffele

Schauffele hasn't played the week after a Major in the last two seasons. He tried it three times in 2019 but it didn't go well: tied 27th in the WGC-FedEx St Jude, missed cut at the Charles Schwab and tied 63rd at the Heritage. They come after finishes of tied 41st at the Open, tied 16th in the PGA and tied second at the Masters. In two post-Major outings in 2018 he missed the cut at the Travelers after tied sixth in the US Open and was tied 32nd at Hilton Head after tied 50th at Augusta. In short, he's one to avoid after a Major.

Bryson DeChambeau

So, can 'The Scientist' program himself to perform well after a Major? Earlier this season he took tied 19th at the Travelers after a tied 26th at the US Open. The next examples come from 2019 when he had to settle for tied 48th in the WGC-FedEx St Jude after an Open missed cut, tied eighth at the Travelers after tied 35th in the US Open and a missed cut at Hilton Head following tied 29th at Augusta. It looks poor so far but in 2018 he was tied third at Hilton Head after tied 38th at Augusta, tied ninth at the Travelers after a US Open tied 25th and tied 13th in the Porsche European Open following tied 51st at the Open.

Brooks Koepka

The perception of Koepka is that he comes alive in the Majors but is rather half-hearted either side. So does that play out? Not exactly. He came off a tied fourth in this year's US Open to take tied fifth at the Travelers although in 2020 he missed the cut at the Wyndham after a tied 29th in the PGA. However, in 2019 he followed a tied fourth in the Open by winning the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational. That came after a tied 57th at the Travelers after finishing runner-up in the US Open.

Patrick Cantlay

Earlier this year Cantlay posted tied 13th in the Travelers after a top 15 in the US Open but he followed a missed cut at the Masters with another early exit at Hilton Head. In 2019 Cantlay was a strong post-Majors performer with finishes of tied third (Heritage), tied 15th (Travelers) and tied 12th (WGC-FedEx St Jude). They followed tied ninth at Augusta, tied 21st at the US Open and tied 41st at the Open. He also did well in 2017 with tied seventh at Hilton Head after a Masters missed cut and tied 15th at the Travelers following a tied 45th in the US Open. Last seven post-Major finishes: 13-MC-12-15-3-15-7.

Louis Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen is getting another chance to show his post-Major mettle this week and is doing pretty well so far at the 3M Open where he's tied 19th at halfway. Earlier this year he was tied 42nd at the BMW International Open in Germany after flying in from his second place in the US Open. Last year he followed a tied 23rd in the Masters with a missed cut at the RSM Classic while in 2019 he took tied 36th in the Travelers after tied seventh in the US Open and tied 20th in the WGC-FedEx St Jude after tied 20th at the Open. Back in 2012 he followed a Masters play-off loss to Bubba Watson by winning the Maybank Malaysian Open so the evidence is mixed.

Harris English

English isn't playing this week following his tied 46th at Royal St George's but perhaps he should be having followed a third in June's US Open by winning the Travelers Championship. Prior to that he'd missed the cut at Hilton Head after tied 21st at the Masters and taken tied 23rd in the Wyndham after tied 19th in the PGA.

Summary

Viewed as a collective, the world's top 10 have delivered a rather patchy set of post-Major results.

From a betting point of view, there are definitely grounds for ignoring or even actively opposing the top stars in match bets when they appear after a Major.

But it shouldn't be a blanket policy.

Half of them - Rahm, DJ, Koepka, Oosthuizen and English - have all won the week after a Major even though they've performed poorly on plenty of occasions too.

One big clue is looking at incentive.

Rahm wanted to put on a show in his home Spanish Open while DJ's father-in-law is Canadian ice hockey legend Gretzky, hence him having some extra focus in the Canadian Open.

And it's surely no coincidence that Koepka's post-Major win came in another big event - the WGC-FedEx St Jude - rather than a bog-standard one.

It can also depend on which events are on the calendar the week after a Major. The courses used may suit some and not others.

The evidence is limited but on the above numbers Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele look poor bets after Majors and perhaps Rahm and DJ are too unless they have something extra to play for.

Beyond the top 10, the PGA TOUR seems to boast a handful of post-Major specialists.

Remarkably, Stewart Cink's first five wins came the week after a Major. He took that tally to six by winning at Hilton Head earlier this year.

Both Chez Reavie's two wins have come in tournaments the week after a Major while two of Jonny Vegas's three titles followed directly after the Open Championship.

A week on from Royal St George's and perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to see that pair flourishing again. Both are tied third after 36 holes at the 3M Open.

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