Shane Lowry on Jon Rahm's LIV Golf justification: "He had no choice"

Former Open champion Shane Lowry has offered some interesting thoughts on Jon Rahm's switch to the lucrative LIV Golf League.

Shane Lowry on Jon Rahm's LIV Golf justification: "He had no choice"
Shane Lowry on Jon Rahm's LIV Golf justification: "He had no choice"

Shane Lowry says it's 'tough to hear' Jon Rahm talk as if he is 'controlled' by LIV Golf now but admits: "You have no other choice."

Former Open champion Lowry made the comments to a pool of reporters at briefing on 20 December to confirm he'll be playing next year's Irish Open. 

His home open will take place at Royal County Down next September and now has a new sponsor, Amgen. 

Lowry was Rahm's teammate at the 2023 Ryder Cup and, like everyone else in the golf world, was kept in the dark about the reigning Masters champion's seismic decision to switch to the LIV Golf League. 

Rahm is one of the most articulate players in the game and not one to mince his words. 

He's also a self-confessed golf nerd who appeared to be more interested in chasing a legacy similar to his revered heroes Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros. 

Asked what the late, great Seve would've made of his decision to join LIV, Rahm stated the Spanish icon would've been 'happy' for him as he too was a pioneer of the game. 

Shane Lowry on Jon Rahm's LIV Golf justification:

Some LIV critics were displeased the Spanish World No.3 listed a number of reasons why he ultimately joined the breakaway tour when only one appeared to be apparent. 

Those included the "innovation" LIV offers and the chance to "grow the game". 

Elsewhere, golfers have used the phrase "what is best for my family". 

Rahm previously stated in a private conversation with his wife Kelley Cahill they agreed $400m wouldn't change their lives. 

Lowry said: "I think what Jon said about growing the game and stuff that's obviously what they have to say. They've signed on the dotted line.

"They've been told by the communications team that this is what you say when you're asked this and you have no other choice really because they own you now."

He continued: "I don't know if it's been damaging [to golf's image] but people who have spent their hard-earned money going out to join a golf club and buy golf clubs and play golf for the weekend, it's tough for them to listen to the guy who's already worth whatever say he has to do this to put food on the table for his wife and kids."

Lowry's comments come as the deadline for the PGA Tour and LIV's financiers, the PIF of Saudi Arabia, to ratify the 6 June framework agreement fast approaches. 

The announcement of that peace agreement which was seen as essentially 'a deal to have a deal' sparked outrage from a number of high-profile PGA Tour players. 

Viktor Hovland recently joined the list of players expressing anger at the PGA Tour's leadership. 

And while Lowry agrees PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan and his executives haven't been great, he has a different way of thinking. 

He explained: "Do I think they've been amazing? No, probably not.

"But I'm not going to criticise them because I think they couldn't foresee this coming. It was something that just happened. I don't really know.

"A lot of players have a lot of opinions on the leadership of the tour.

"But I don't consider myself clever enough to be able to comment on running a billion-dollar organisation.

"So, like I said earlier, I just worry about my own game, try and win the best tournaments I can and compete in the best ones I can, and that's really it."

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