Rahm calls for clarity on inclusion of LIV Golf players at Ryder Cup

By Sports Desk January 04, 2023

Jon Rahm wants the PGA and DP World tours to collaborate in making a decision on the inclusion of LIV Golf players at this year's Ryder Cup.

A number of high-profile players have left both tours for LIV Golf since the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit's inception last year.

Henrik Stenson was stripped of the Europe captaincy in July after making the switch, with Ryder Cup veterans like Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood among those in danger of being ruled ineligible, while the United States have ruled out the selection of LIV players.

Speaking ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Rahm said it would not be smart to have a situation at the Ryder Cup – which takes place in Rome in September – where one team calls up LIV Golf players and the other does not.

"Listen, there's some people that are going to have to make some tough choices," he said. "I hope the PGA of America and European Tour make a decision together. I don't think it would be smart to have one team allowing LIV players and one not to.

"And besides that, even if they decide not to on that side, I think it's going to give an opportunity for a lot of great young players to show up and have the chance in Europe, right? It's just going to be an opportunity for all of them. We saw a younger United States team last Ryder Cup and they did what they did [beating Europe 19-9 in 2021].

"I'm hoping these younger guys who have grown up watching the Ryder Cup and seeing their idols do what they do, let's say, it energises the team a little bit in any manner and we show up there to win."

Rahm also joked about the "chaos" around the LIV Golf breakaway, saying: "I've had two kids in 15 months, so compared to that, I don't know if what's happened around golf is as comparable."

He insists it has not changed his perception of his fellow professionals, though, adding: "I didn't feel a difference in any of the majors last year. If somebody has a problem with LIV players, they're just not going to deal with them and that's about it.

"In my mind, like I've said it before, I respect their choice and the ones I was friends with before I'm still going to be friends with, right? It doesn't change the way I'm going to operate with them."

Rahm, a big football fan, was also asked for his opinion on the recent World Cup final that saw Argentina and Lionel Messi beat France on penalties after an exciting 3-3 draw in Qatar, which also featured Kylian Mbappe scoring a hat-trick for Les Bleus.

"That final was incredible," he said. "I think I took more inspiration from Mbappe. He put the team on his back and tied a final that they had no business tying, let's be honest.

"And Messi, I mean, I've been watching Messi play for so long that it's amazing that he can still surprise a lot of people. When the debate of greatest of all time is up in the air, he does what he did and carried Argentina to a World Cup final.

"It's not my business to decide who is the best or who is not because I never saw [Diego] Maradona play, but he's made a pretty good argument.

"I don't know if I'll see a final this good ever again in my lifetime. I hope I do, but I doubt it. The only way this could have been better if it was Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo facing off and they each had a hat trick and things like that. Kylian being the next closest thing, because he's clearly the future of this sport."

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    Who else?

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    MATCH PREDICTION: ARGENTINA WIN

    Unsurprisingly, Argentina are the overwhelming favourites to start their title defence with a win and they go in with a 74.3% chance of finishing the game with three points.

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Argentina – 74.3%

    Draw – 14.7%

    Canada – 11%

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