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Jon Rahm finds LIV Golf format ‘not really appealing’

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Jon Rahm didn’t like having to return the US Open trophy as his year of custodianship of the two-handed winner’s silver prize came to an end.

While Rahm noted that he feels less pressure in the majors since winning the US Open and desperately wants to defend his title and bring the trophy home to Scottsdale once again, he spent most of his pre-tournament press conference responding. questions about the current course. conflict between the PGA Tour and the upstart LIV Golf Series.

“I feel sorry for Jay Monahan,” Rahm said of the PGA Tour commissioner in his first response to a question about the renegade circuit. “If you look at his time as commissioner, he had to deal with COVID and now this. I don’t know if he signed up for all this or not.

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“I think the PGA Tour has done an amazing job giving us the best platform for us to perform. I see the appeal that other people see towards the LIV Golf. I see some of the, I’ll put it nicely, points or arguments that you can make about why you prefer it. To be honest, part of the format (LIV) doesn’t really appeal to me. Three-day shotgun for me is not a golf tournament, no cut. It’s that easy. I want to play against the best in the world in a format that has been around for hundreds of years. That’s what I want to see.”

When the question of money was raised, Rahm said he understood why it would attract certain players, but that it wasn’t a big selling point for him, adding that he and his wife discussed the matter while the Saudis were throwing large sums of money at Dollars. golf marquee names.

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“Will our lifestyle change if I get $400 million? No, it won’t change one bit,” she said. “To tell you the truth, I could retire right now with what I’ve earned and live a very happy life and never play golf again. So I have never actually played golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game and I want to play against the best in the world. I’ve always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that.

“There is meaning when you win the Memorial Championship. There is meaning when you win the Arnold Palmer event at Bay Hill. There’s a meaning when you win, LA, Torrey, some of the historic places. That matters a lot to me, right? After winning this past US Open, only Tiger and I have won at Torrey Pines, and it’s a golf course we like, putting on the 18th hole. That’s a memory I’ll have forever that not many people can tell. My heart goes out to the PGA Tour. This is all I can say.”

Rahm’s biggest concern is the future of the Ryder Cup, which could change if players who have defected to LIV Golf are banned from competing.

Jon Rahm addresses the media during a press conference for the US Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“I think the Ryder Cup is the biggest draw the game of golf has to bring in new people,” Rahm said. “I hope we don’t lose the essence and the aspect that the Ryder Cup is. That’s one of my biggest concerns, to be honest. It’s an event we all play for free and it’s one of our favorite weeks, win or lose. I think that says a lot about the game and where I would like it to be.”

Those questions may not be answered for quite some time, but by Sunday we should know if Rahm’s title defense lived up to his hype. Rahm was in the hunt for the trophy at the British Open, fighting to the bitter end before falling short to Patrick Cantlay for the FedEx Cup crown and winning the Mexican Open at Vidanta against a diluted field on May 1.

“I don’t know if we’ve seen much of him. He has played well, but he definitely doesn’t meet Jon Rahm’s standards. He’s definitely slipped a little bit,” said Paul Azinger, NBC’s senior golf analyst.

But Azinger also learned everything he needed to know about Rahm’s gut strength in the way he birdied the final two holes last year at Torrey Pines to snatch the US Open from a slew of title-challenging competitors.

“That tournament was on the line. Really any number of tremendous players could have won that tournament. If you go back and look at it, Bryson is there for a while. He then he looked like Rory McIlroy and then Oosthuizen,” Azinger said. “For Rahm to get to the top and the way he did it under the circumstances with all these great players there, the enormous pressure on Rahm, it was a big step for him as a man and as a player to hole those two. putts at the end of the golf tournament. And to do that kind of short game, which is never his strong suit, but to do that kind of short game display there at the US Open and hold that trophy was a real battle of nerves and will.”

While Rory McIlroy proved at the RBC Canadian Open that a national title can be defended, Justin Thomas’ playoff victory last month at the PGA Championship extended a streak in which eight different players have won all eight professional golf championships. previous. Brooks Koepka had previously won four of the nine major championships played, including back-to-back US Opens in 2017 and 2018 in that span and the PGA in 2018 and 2019.

“Usually you go to the same place, it’s something you’re familiar with,” Rahm said of one of the unique challenges of trying to defend the US Open. “It’s a bit of an odd factor defending a tournament on a golf course and no one has really played almost since the Ryder Cup (1999), right? It’s a little different, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Rahm said the USGA gave him a highlight video of last year’s win, as well as a reel containing his 278 shots, and he has studied it often. If Rahm learned anything from his victory a year ago, it’s that golf isn’t a perfect game.

“I remember watching my highlights from Sunday last year, and I thought I played one of the best rounds of my life, and I kept thinking, I can’t believe how many fairway bunkers I hit that day, how many greens I missed, and how many putts I missed. “, said. “You know, it’s golf, and that’s the way it is. You don’t really have to play perfect, and I think that’s the best lesson I can take from that.”

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