Rory McIlroy admits 'incorrect' Jon Rahm comments: "I'll take it on the chin"

Rory McIlroy says he made 'factually incorrect' comments about Jon Rahm's Ryder Cup future after the Spaniard joined LIV Golf.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 9 Jan 2024
Rory McIlroy admits 'incorrect' Jon Rahm comments: "I'll take it on the chin"

Rory McIlroy says he will 'take it on the chin' after making 'factually incorrect' comments in the wake of Jon Rahm's decision to join LIV Golf

Rahm officially joined the breakaway tour last December after weeks of intense speculation. 

The reigning Masters champion is said to have penned a huge deal worth a reported £450m. 

Rahm said the decision to bolt was 'worth the risk' of potentially not being able to participate in the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black. 

McIlroy immediately called for the rules to be changed in light of Rahm's decision so he could once again wear the blue and gold. 

The Ulsterman had previously taken the staunch position the 'rebel' players should not be allowed to tee it up in the biennial dust-up. 

Both McIlroy and Rahm played a starring role as Luke Donald's Europe wrestled back the Cup from Team USA at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club last September. 

McIlroy produced a talismanic performance and was the leading points scorer with four whereas Rahm contributed three to Europe's total of 16.5. 

Unlike some former European Ryder Cup stars who have joined LIV, Rahm has not resigned his DP World Tour membership and therefore remains eligible for selection for next year's contest. 

Rahm has also not relinquished his PGA Tour membership. 

McIlroy told reporters before the Dubai Invitational he will take his previous comments about Rahm 'on the chin'. 

He said: "I was factually incorrect in my comments in the wake of Jon's going to LIV. He's still a member of the DP World Tour, so he is still eligible. I'll take that one on the chin.

"All I was really trying to say was that we need Jon Rahm on the European team, whatever way that can happen. It's not that we absolutely need him. But our chances are clearly better if he is there."

McIlroy also outlined his vision for a world tour in which LIV Golf would play four events in the spring and four events in the winter. 

The four-times major champion also urged the powers that be to make the national opens as treasured as they once were. 

He also called for the PGA Tour to open their minds to playing in areas they have never visited before. 

What did Rory McIlroy previously say about Jon Rahm's Ryder Cup future?

When Rahm joined LIV, he told Sky Sports: "So because of this decision the European Tour are going to have to rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility, absolutely, there is no question about that.

"I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team. I am going to miss competing against him week-in-week-out. 

"He is such a good player, he has so much talent. He is so tenacious, and a great teammate at the Ryder Cup. I have nothing but good things to say about Jon. I respect the hell out of him as a golfer."

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