Rahm Slams LIV Golf And Reveals His 'Biggest Concern' Over Saudi-Backed Series

The US Open defending champion expressed his feelings about the LIV Golf format and his Ryder Cup concerns

Jon Rahm during press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jon Rahm has delivered his perspective on golf's biggest story ahead of his US Open title defence at Brookline. 

Speaking of the newly formed Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, the Spaniard made his feelings about the tournament's format abundantly clear: "To be honest, part of the format is not really appealing to me. Shotgun, three days, to me is not a golf tournament, no cut. It's that simple. I want to play against the best in the world in a format that's been going on for hundreds of years. That's what I want to see."

The 27-year-old added: "I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world. There's meaning when you win the Memorial Championship. There's meaning when you win Arnold Palmer's event at Bay Hill. There's a meaning when you win, LA, Torrey, some of the historic venues. That to me matters a lot."

Rahm admitted that he could see the "appeal that other people see towards LIV Golf" but described those that have taken the riches of the Saudi-backed venture as essentially cashing in their retirement plans. The former World No.1 said: "Those next three, four years are worth basically their retirement plan they're giving them. It's a very nice compensation to then retire and sail off into the sunset. If that's what you want, that's fine." 

Rahm's comments were very similar to that of Rory McIlroy, who insisted that those who have moved to LIV Golf are past their peak with their "best days behind them" and that he feels those around his age or younger are "taking the easy way out."

Like so many in the golfing world right now, Rahm expressed his biggest concern that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf fallout could cause - ramifications to the Ryder Cup. "I hope the Ryder Cup doesn't suffer," he said. "I think the Ryder Cup is the biggest attraction the game of golf has to bring new people in.

"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 favourite weeks, win or lose. I think that says a lot about the game and where I wish it would be at."

Last year, Rahm became the first Spaniard to win the US Open and only the second person to win America's National Open at Torrey Pines - joining Tiger Woods after his historic triumph over Rocco Mediate in 2008. The seven-time PGA Tour winner has had a relatively quiet 2022 season thus far with just the one victory (Mexico Open) coming in his twelve appearances.

Rahm, who finished inside the top-10 in each of the four Major championships last year, has yet to mount a Major charge in 2022; with his best performance a T27 at Augusta National. 

He gets his US Open title defence underway at 7.18am EDT/12.18pm BST alongside Collin Morikawa and James Piot.

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.