Jon Rahm feels there’s one thing LIV money can’t buy.

March 20, 2024

Jon Rahm feels he misses some things about playing on the PGA Tour.

(here comes a time when we have to leave the safety of our group—family, friends—and go out into the world alone.

And when we hear what’s going on at home, we feel a sense of loss, a touch of FOMO, maybe a little of regret: Oh, are they really going without me or what?Jon Rahm left the PGA Tour in December with a LIV Golf fortune — some estimates put it at $600 million — and immediately jumped to the top of the rankings on the Tour, too.

But he left behind old rivals on the PGA Tour and many dear old places, and there’s no telling when he might return.

Rahm is one of golf’s great talkers. , vast and understanding, and one of the modest downsides of his departure from LIV is that he won’t be nearly as available for current affairs, whether it’s a special design course his own game or the larger issues facing the sport of golf.

He spoke to the media on Tuesday before the Masters, and his answers were as revealing as his champion’s dinner menu.

“It’s done. It’s in the past,” he said of his choice to jump to LIV. “It’s a decision I made and I’m happy with it. But I hope I can come back and hopefully defend [The Masters.

Rahm last won three times – at Sentry, American Express and Genesis – before the Masters. With a great run that earned him his first green jacket.

But if he decided to go to LIV Golf, Rahm disqualified and defend those events. He now understands why he quit.”I’m not lying,” Rahm said.

For everyone who said [the jump to LIV] was going to be easy, a few things were, but the fact that I couldn’t defend some titles that mean a lot to me, no. He noted that it is not included.

At the Riviera Genesis Open, it was “hard” to see the World Tour continue without him.”I was still watching the broadcast,” he added.

I still watch golf because I love watching it. But it’s hard. It was hard not being at the Phoenix Open at the end of February and it was hard not being in Hawaii because it’s another tournament that my family enjoys and I’ve been playing fantastic.

Also, he is no longer competitive, able to go against the best on the PGA Tour like Scottie Scheffler. Sunday’s Players Championship was the best golf of the season so far; how much better could it be with Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith and other LIV stars?””I’m fully aware of where Scottie is,” Rahm said, crediting his singles competitor and Ryder Cup teammate, golf’s alpha.

“I think that’s what makes this Masters and so many others the most fun, not only for me and the players, but also for the spectators, that we can all play together again and show what we can do.”

LIV’s limited schedule has a more tangible impact than just Rahm’s discovery. He has five before starting the Masters this year, compared to eight in 2023.

He hopes it won’t be worse, just different. “Last year I didn’t play the week before the Masters. This year I’m at the [LIV Miami event]. It’s hard to say which is better or not. It’s a little different,” he said. “I’m glad we’re going to a tough course [Trump Doral Miami] this year before we play a major because I think it prepares you really well.

Rahmi faces a challenge unlike any other any player in golf history: to return as the defending Masters champion after transitioning for another tour.

(Cam Smith had the same situation at last year’s Open; he finished a distant T33, 14 strokes behind winner Brian Harman.) Rahm is waiting. his acceptance be warm, even though he knows there will be bumps.

“I haven’t had a bad experience so far. I’ve seen other PGA Tour pros [since moving to LIV] and I haven’t really seen anything wrong,” he said.

I imagine there are quite a few who are not happy and maybe our dynamic has changed. but… nothing changes from my side. I still respect everybody on both sides, and I respect golf more than anything.

Going forward, Rahm hopes one way to see some alignment and team golf to help bridge the golf gap. two very different journeys. For him, it’s a simple equation.

I just want to see the best in the world compete with the best in the world, whatever that looks like,” he said.

I think there’s room for all of us, and there’s room for the game of golf to take it to the next level and provide more spectator opportunities.

He pointed to golf’s possible future model for the superstructure of European football, with interwoven leagues and matches all working together to generate interest in the game as a whole. (Not to mention: Saudi Arabia’s influence in European football is significant and ever-growing.)

No one sympathizes with Rahm, who feels a little more out of place. As always when discussing the concerns of LIV players, the most appropriate line is Don Draper’s “That’s what mono’s for”.

However, golf fans will and should feel a lost opportunity when Rahm plays it with Scheffler in April. The best players compete against each other again… it doesn’t seem that hard to master, but it gets harder every time..