Thursday , April 18 2024

Jon Rahm: ‘Nice to have support’ of Rory McIlroy in LIV move as golf continues to ‘evolve’ | Golf News

Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton have admitted it is “nice to have the support” of Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy as they embark on their first season in the LIV Golf League.

McIlroy said ahead of the new season that he had been “too judgemental” in his views about players switching to the Saudi-backed circuit, having frequently spoken out in support of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour when it launched in 2022.

Rahm and Hatton are banned from featuring on the PGA Tour for switching to LIV Golf, joining stars like Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.

McIlroy now believes none of those players should be “punished” if they return to any other Tours, a much softer stance than he originally took.

Both Hatton and Rahm have said they would like to continue to play on multiple Tours plus the Ryder Cup if possible in the future and that it is “important” for someone of McIlroy’s calibre to acknowledge that golf is evolving.

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Rory McIlroy admits he has changed his tune by saying returning LIV Golf players shouldn’t be punished.

“I haven’t spoken to him a lot recently. But he might have had a change in thought process, as in maybe with some of the things he said in the past,” Rahm said.

“I think he might be seeing that the landscape of golf is changing and at some point you need to evolve.

“So I think he might be seeing that, and everybody is entitled to their opinion, but it’s nice to have the support from a player the calibre of Rory, especially those Ryder Cup remarks he made early on. I think that’s an important statement for change to be said.”

“Well, I’ve spoken to Rory a bit in the past week and back in December,” Hatton added.

“That’s kind of along the lines of what he said to me. It’s not a surprise to hear him say that in the media.

“Ultimately, I would like to still be able to play events on the other two tours. But we’ll see how all that works out.”

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Tyrrell Hatton has become the latest player to sign a deal to join the LIV Golf Tour as he links up with Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm.

Rahm: Secrecy around LIV move was ‘difficult’

Rahm also admitted that it was a “difficult process” when he was finalising his move to the LIV Golf League as he had to be involved in the “deep waters” of the negotiations but the reaction to the defection was “as expected”.

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Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir explains what impact Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf means for the sport as a whole.

“Well, the weeks leading up to the announcement weren’t the easiest. I had to weigh a lot, basically get enough info to then make an informed decision,” he said.

“Even through the process of negotiations, it was just very, very deep waters compared to what I’m used to.

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“I had to be more involved than I thought I was going to have to be. But once the announcement was made, I think everything became a lot easier.

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After Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf was confirmed, we take a look back at some of his remarks about the rival tour over the past year.

“Having to keep the secrecy and not being able to talk to anybody about it was difficult. Again, once it became public, the reaction was pretty much what I expected.

“The ones that are close friends that maybe had an idea or not have supported me, and obviously there’s some people that are going to disagree with any decision we make in life.

“Pretty much in line with what I expected, but it was nice to have some time after that before my first competition round in LIV Golf to process and then actually kind of refocus and get to work.”

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