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jon rahm pga tour

Jon Rahm still loves the PGA Tour and missing events ‘isn’t the easiest’

Despite asserting his passion for LIV Golf’s team element, Jon Rahm admits that he fondly misses playing in certain PGA Tour events that he still loves…

 

Jon Rahm still loves the PGA Tour and loves a handful of venues that he left behind when joining LIV Golf at the end of last year.

The reigning Masters champion admitted that he missed playing in events such as the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the WM Phoenix Open in Arizona following his suspension from the PGA Tour after transferring to its rival league funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Before winning the Masters last April, the 29-year-old went on a winning spree at the turn of the year, cashing in at The Sentry, The American Express at Palm Springs and the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles. Slipping on the Green Jacket capped off an incredible run that took him to 11 PGA Tour wins.

Speaking ahead of his title defence at Augusta National, Rahm retains hope that he can play in PGA Tour events again one day, if the tour and the PIF formalise their framework agreement, but insists that his mind and his competitive nature are sufficiently ignited by the breakaway circuit he joined ahead of the 2024 season.

“I haven’t given it that much thought because I’ve been so focused on what I have to do myself, there’s no secret I’ve mentioned it a few times,” Rahm said on Tuesday.

“There are some venues that I miss not being at, not only because I won but because I love it and that’s a reason why I’ve played well in those tournaments. Not being at Palm Springs, Torrey, Phoenix and LA wasn’t the easiest and I’ll keep saying that because those are venues that I absolutely love.

“Driving by Phoenix as often as I had to, seeing the stands and knowing that I wasn’t going to be there was quite hard.

“I still love the PGA Tour and I still hope everything the best and I hope that at some point I can compete there again. You do miss competing against certain people, but at the end of the day, I’ve had so much to focus on, the dynamic has changed.

jon rahm pga tour

ALSO: Jon Rahm is ‘confident’ of a LIV Golf victory at the Masters

Jon Rahm: PGA Tour and LIV Golf require the same level to win

This week is Rahm’s first opportunity of 2024 to play against Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and the rest of the players who feature in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings, and it will be his first major appearance since signing a reported £450-million deal with LIV in December.

Despite the mouthwatering figure that is linked to Rahm’s signature, which he accepts was part of his decision, the Spaniard asserts that his passion and interest in team golf and being the captain of Legion XIII GC was at the heart of his switch.

He might not line up against the likes of Scheffler and McIlroy anymore, but he has joined the same fields as Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau who moved to the LIV Golf League before him.

It was Koepka whom he chased down to win the Masters last year and it was Koepka’s brilliance that put to bed any doubts that a shorter, less strenuous LIV Golf schedule didn’t provide sufficient preparation to compete at the top of major championship leaderboards.

Not only has Rahm enjoyed the team element of LIV that is distinctly different to the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, but he also believes you have to play at the same level to win a LIV tournament as you do to win on the schedules he once used to dominate.

“I’m a team leader, I’m a team captain to an extent. It’s still golf, I can’t really influence how they do on the golf course. A lot of good, a lot of positive to look forward to. I’ve had a lot of fun playing in those events,” he added.

“The competition is still there, yeah they are smaller fields but you still have to beat some of the best players in the world and you still have to play at the same level you have to play on the PGA Tour to win those events, so that doesn’t change.

“It’s been fun to be part of a team. It was one of the driving for me to make the change.
It’s fun to be part of a family and part of a common goal as a team and enjoying those team victories has been really, really fun.

“Usually on a Sunday, like last week, I would not have been thrilled by the way I finished, not that I would have been sad or upset, but I wouldn’t have been thrilled and, you know, had a team goal to actually celebrate. I mean, that is actually kind of fun.”

NOW READ: What’s in Jon Rahm’s bag?

NOW READ: Jon Rahm takes issue with LIV format: ‘I wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes’

Could we see another Jon Rahm Masters victory this week? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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