Jon Rahm says it was emotional to hear he had Rory McIlroy's support to be allowed to play in the Ryder Cup after the Northern Irishman made a dramatic U-turn in how he views rival league players participating in the biennial dust-up.
McIlroy, 34, has made no secret of his disdain for those that decided to put their Ryder Cup futures at risk by defecting to LIV.
He spoke of feeling 'betrayal' when the likes of Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell joined the Saudi-backed breakaway.
"It's a weird thing," McIlroy previously told the Guardian of his former teammates. "I think it is the first time in my life that I have felt betrayal in a way.
"It's an unfamiliar feeling to me. You build bonds with these people through Ryder Cups and other things.
"Them knowing that what they are about to do is going to jeopardise them from being a part of that ever again?"
He was baffled McDowell, in particular, would risk a potential Ryder Cup captaincy seeing as the contest heads to Adare Manor in Ireland in 2027.
Poulter, many viewed, was likely to be the skipper in what promises to be a Cup for the ages in New York.
Luke Donald has since confirmed he will lead Team Europe once again.
Fast-forward to December 2023 and Rahm is now a LIV player having penned a multi-year deal said to be worth £450m.
McIlroy has now called for the powers that be to change the rules to allow the Spaniard compete.
Challenged on his apparent hypocrisy, McIlroy blasted on social media: "We didn't NEED any of the others in Rome and we didn't miss them. We'd certainly miss and need Jon at Bethpage."
Rahm told the Fairway to Heaven podcast: "I have the utmost respect for Rory McIlroy and to have his support right away is very, very special.
"It's almost emotional to hear about it. The Ryder Cup means a lot to me and it's one of the things that made this decision very difficult for me.
"I've always been hopeful that if I made the step, the DP World Tour would maybe adapt the eligibility so we could play it.
Rahm continued: "With that being said, I absolutely intend to keep my DP World Tour status and PGA Tour status and be a member if possible if allowed and play in more events.
"So, nothing regarded to that is going to change in my mind. I'm hoping sooner rather than later we hear some news about the Ryder Cup and we get a clear path of how we can make things work.
"I would love nothing more than to defend the Cup in Bethpage."
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