Jon Rahm has words for Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler

LIV Golf's Jon Rahm has taken a not-so-subtle dig at the decision to award Scottie Scheffler the PGA Tour player of the year award. 

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 11 Jan 2024
Jon Rahm has words for Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler

Jon Rahm has taken a subtle dig at the decision to be overlooked as the PGA Tour's player of the year after Scottie Scheffler won the award back-to-back. 

Rahm made a surprise appearance on The Jim Rome Show on 10 January despite previously insisting he was going to take himself out of the limelight after his seismic decision to switch tours. 

The reigning Masters champion spoke to Rome for approximately 10 minutes in which he discussed why he decided to join LIV despite previously insisting he had no plans to bolt. 

He said his team name has been chosen but wouldn't reveal it yet, nor would he confirm which players will join him. There are some rumours, though. 

Rahm made it clear he joined because of the money and then waxed lyrical on team golf and 'the chance to create something new'. 

He also offered some thoughts on PGA Tour members voting Scheffler as their player of the year despite Rahm winning four times. 

You will also recall Rahm kept his nerve to clinch the Masters last April, beating Brooks Koepka to the green jacket. 

Scheffler did not win a major but was a pillar of consistency across the season. He also won in Phoenix and the coveted Players. 

Rahm stressed Scheffler had a fantastic year but stated winning hardware is what usually counts. 

He explained: "Oh man, listen, Scottie had a fantastic year. Fantastic year. … I don't want to take away anything from what he did, but historically, hardware is what's won basically the player of the year. 

"The year Patrick Cantlay won, I was basically the more consistent player, in 2021, had a major, I think I had 16 top-10s that year and I fully understood why Patrick won it.

"It's just maybe this year because of his high level of ball-striking, [the voters] decided to go in a different direction, but at the end of the day, it's well earned."

Rory's words were very mature

Rory McIlroy turned heads before kicking off his season in Dubai by conceding he was too judgemental of the players who have joined LIV. 

He also described Rahm's decision to join the rival league as a smart business move.

His words were leapt upon by Phil Mickelson, who urged pro-LIV fans not to 'pile on' McIlroy for his apparent U-turn. 

Mickelson wrote on X McIlroy's shift in tone was a moment to end the hostilities between the tours

Rahm told the show: "I mean I think it has de-escalated the tension. Rory is a fantastic player who has taken on a lot.

"It takes a lot of maturity and it takes a lot to step back and voice out when you have been wrong especially with a worldwide audience like he has. 

"So, he's been a great friend of mine. His reaction was very positive.

"Obviously I'm sad and he's sad that we're not going to be competing together directly all year round but he's a good friend who has continued to be a good friend."

Rahm added: "We all want golf, above all, to be in the best situation to give the fans and spectators what they need to see."

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