HOYLAKE, England – Jon Rahm doesn’t think he should be compensated for his loyalty to the PGA Tour, but he won’t stop anyone that wants to do so.
“It’s a tricky question,” Rahm said on Tuesday during a press conference ahead of the 151st British Open. “So I understand the PGA Tour wanting to do something for those players who helped and stayed on the PGA Tour, but at the same time – and I’ll be the first one to say – I wasn’t forced into anything. It was my choice to stay. Do I think they absolutely should be and there must be a compensation? No. I just stayed because I think it’s the best choice for myself and for the golf I want to play.
“Now, with that said, if they want to do it, I’m not going to say no.”
Rahm continued. “We all had the chance to go to LIV and take the money and we chose to stay at the PGA Tour for whatever reason we chose. As I’ve said before, I already make an amazing living doing what I do. I’m extremely thankful, and that all happened because of the platform the PGA Tour provided me. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done enough for me, and their focus should be on improving the PGA Tour and the game of golf for the future generations.”
As to the other thorny question of the day, allowing those players who defected to LIV to return to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, Rahm contends some sort of punishment is in order but said it was above his pay grade.
“I can understand people on the PGA Tour not wanting those players back, and I can also understand why some of them want to come back. There’s some great events that a lot of people probably want to go and play again, some great golf courses, as well,” Rahm said. “I do believe that some punishment should be in order, but I don’t know what – I’m not a politician. That’s not my job. That’s for the disciplinary board and other people that are paid to do that. My job is to hit the golf ball and try to do the best I can.”
Yet, count Rahm among the many players that was blindsided on June 6 by the news that the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the financial backers behind the renegade league, had reached an agreement to end litigation and create a new commercial entity as part of a five-page framework agreement.
Rahm gave PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan a vote of confidence, saying he thinks he’s “done a fantastic job,” and noting that Monahan had texted him but they haven’t talked since Monahan was sidelined with health issues. (He returned to the job on Monday.)
Photos: Jon Rahm — through the years
“I hope whatever he had wasn’t too serious, and I hope him and his family are doing good and his health has gone back to normal,” Rahm said. “I think what the management of the PGA Tour, the turn they took without us knowing was very unexpected, but I still think he’s been doing a great job. And right now after that happened, I only think it’s fair to give them the right time to work things out.”
Rahm is a man of many opinions, but he said he’s not going to go out of his way to express them.
“If you want my opinion, ask me,” he said. “I think they should talk to the membership and get an idea of where the players are at. But it’s not about just myself. Obviously, it should be a general feeling of what the partnership wants to do. I’m not going to be calling every single day telling them what I think and what should be done. Let’s just say that.”
Cooler heads may prevail and Rahm described the next few months as a waiting game to see how the deal plays out.
“Hopefully they can reach a partnership that they both are happy what the outcome is going to be, and everybody can move on and be the best golf product we can put out there, whatever that looks like,” he said. “I think it’s obviously cooling down, and now we’re all waiting to see how this moves forward.”