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As the golfing world prepares for an announcement regarding the cast assembled for the rumoured Saudi-backed Super Golf League, another player who almost definitely won’t be included is Jon Rahm.
Along with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the World No. 1 has made his thoughts on the whole thing abundantly clear under repeated questioning. His absence would, of course, be another blow to the F1-style breakaway circuit, but luckily for Greg Norman and his new friends, there still appears to be a horde of pros willing to forsake the traditional tours, the majors and the Ryder Cup all in the name of “growing the game”.
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at how Rahm has reacted to the ongoing saga…
Back in 2020, when discussing the Premier Golf League, the Spaniard told Golfweek he had no intention of joining a rival circuit, whether that’s the PGL or the SGL. Instead, his priorities remained unchanged.
He said: “I think what I’m going to do is focus on just the PGA Tour. At the end of the day I’m a competitor. I’m a PGA Tour member and I’m going to stay that way.
“Hopefully I have a long career ahead on the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour has done such a great job with what we have and I’m really thankful for what they’ve done.”
Fast forward to now and his focus is still the same. When asked to comment on Phil Mickelson’s ironic criticism of the PGA Tour, Rahm did his best to toe a line of respect to all parties, given he classes the six-time major champion as a “great friend”.
“I try to stay away from those things. I’m here to play golf, and that’s about it,” Rahm said, when asked about the now infamous “obnoxious greed” comment. “Phil has been on Tour for a very long time, and I’m not here to judge anybody, right? Phil said what he said. That’s it.
“He’s still a great friend of mine. I don’t know why he said what he said or why he said it how he said it, but all I can say is I support him as a friend, yet I don’t agree with everything he said. I'm 27 years old. I can count myself pretty lucky to be where I'm at in life."
So, with Rahm out (for now), that leaves Dustin Johnson as the only player currently residing in the top 10 who appears willing to put some stock into the new concept. Curiously, he's also the oldest, something that's becoming a bit of a theme.
In the build-up and during the Saudi International, speculation was rife regarding player approaches and vast sums of cash. And among the names hitting the headlines alongside Johnson's were Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, the youngest of which is 45 years old.
While all three European greats would be bringing their Ryder Cup careers to a premature and rather sad end should they be swayed by the Saudi riches, the temptation is at least understandable. As Tommy Fleetwood said last year, "the standard of golf is a joke at the moment", and it's only going to get better.
Increasingly, it's becoming a young person's game, with more and more hopefuls earning their way onto the main tours straight out of college and hitting the ground running. So, for those approaching 50, the chance to cash in on a guaranteed payday makes a little more sense.
That is perhaps where the rumoured Super Golf League will find some solace early doors, but for now, one superstar name they'll have to do without is Jon Rahm.
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
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