March 20, 2024

Jon Rahm opens up on life in LIV Golf and ‘difficult’ part of leaving PGA Tour | Golf | Sport

Jon Rahm has admitted he is finding it difficult to adjust to some aspects of his career at LIV Golf – in particular not being able to defend several of his PGA Tour titles. The Spaniard will tee it up at Augusta in April as the defending champion, but he will have just five tournaments under his belt this season such is the nature of the LIV schedule.

Last year, before winning the Masters, he had three titles to begin the 2023 season under his belt and added the pretigious Green Jacket at Augusta – the second major of his career.

The 29 year old still has a chance for a victory with LIV set to play in Miami a week before the Masters and crucially the World No. 3 does not regret moving to the Saudi-backed league, but he does miss the chance to defend.

“For everybody who said this would be easy, some things have been, but not being able to defend some titles that mean a lot to me hasn’t,” Rahm said, as quoted by ESPN.

In 2023, Rahm won at the PGA Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the American Express at Palm Springs, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera before making the Masters his second major title. But since joining LIV last December, the Spaniard is now banned from participating in any events on the PGA Tour.

He will be allowed to compete at the Masters as his status as a former champion, gives him a lifetime exemption.

“I love Palm Springs. I’ve been able to win twice there. Riviera is about as charismatic of a golf course as we have. Not being there was difficult,” Rahm said.

“I still watch golf because I love watching it. But it’s hard. It was hard not to be at the Phoenix Open at the end of February and it was hard not to be at Hawaii.”

Rahm is excited to once again compete at Augusta National and attempt to win his second-consecutive Masters starting on April 11. He has only secured an elusive repeat crown once in his career, back in 2019 at the Spanish Open.

“So far, it has been great. Been playing good golf,” Rahm said of his switch to LIV Golf, which has seen his Legion XIII claim one of the four team titles so far.

The focus will switch to ciming up against the likes of World No.1 Scottie Scheffler – a back-to-back winner on the PGA Tour over the last fortnight and a former Masters champion, and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

“I’m definitely looking forward to joining with the rest of the best golfers in the world and teeing it up at the Masters with them.

“I just want to be able to see the best in the world compete against the best in the world, whatever that looks like,” he said. “I think there’s room for all of us.”

Rahm hasn’t had any trouble with other golfers despite the tension between those who stayed with the PGA Tour and those who left.

“So far I haven’t had any bad experiences,” Rahm said. “I’ve seen other PGA Tour pros and I haven’t really seen anything bad.

“I’m assuming there will be quite a few that are not happy and maybe our dynamics has changed, but from my side, nothing changes. I still respect everybody on both sides and respect the game of golf above all.”

Rahm has the honour of hosting the champions dinner, which means he gets to select the menu and it features a heavy not to his Spanish heritage – in particular ‘Mama Rahm’s Classix Lentil Stew’ features in a tapas starter selection alongside Iberico ham, Spicy Basque chorizo and potato, Spanish omelette and creamy chicken fritters.

A Basque crab salad with potato then follows with a Basque ribeye steak with Tudelo lettuce and piquillo peppers or turbot and Navarra white asparagus served for main. A Spanish dessert brings the curtain down, puff pastry cake, custard and Chantilly cream – known as Miljojas de Crema y Nata.


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