The Masters champion, Jon Rahm, has insisted golfers who remained on the PGA Tour instead of switching to the LIV circuit should not be financially compensated, while offering his backing to Jay Monahan.
Monahan’s position as head of the PGA Tour has come under scrutiny after a deal was agreed between his organisation, the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The PGA Tour’s commissioner earlier stood in staunch opposition to Saudi involvement in golf, including by urging players not to join LIV. Xander Schauffele, the world No 6, said last week he had “lost trust” in Monahan.
Rahm has a different attitude towards “good man” Monahan. “As it comes to what he’s been doing for us and the PGA Tour, I think he has done a fantastic job,” the Spaniard said. “I would say it was unexpected what happened. 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. I still think they have the best interest of the players at heart.”
The world No 3 is among those who could easily have accepted overtures – and tens of millions of dollars – from LIV. It has been suggested those who stuck with the PGA Tour should be paid as part of golf’s plan for alliance between previously warring factions.
“I understand the PGA Tour wanting to do something for those players who helped and stayed on the PGA Tour,” Rahm said. “I’ll be the first one to say, I wasn’t forced into anything. It was my choice to stay.
“Do I think there absolutely 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. 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.”
Rahm smiled when the prospect of a Just Stop Oil protest at the 151st Open Championship was mentioned. Tournament organisers and police are braced for this major being the latest high-profile UK sporting event to be hit by the activist group. “I do have a reputation, so I hope they don’t catch me on a bad hole,” Rahm said.