Jon Rahm: Why PGA Tour players should be 'thankful' for LIV Golf and it was 'not a bad year' for golf
Rahm ahead of the Hero World Challenge: "I don't think each side needs to be saying anything negative about each other. If you want to try to co-sexist, co-exist. LIV can do their thing and the PGA Tour can do their thing."
Last Updated: 01/12/22 1:52pm
Jon Rahm has admitted that PGA Tour players can be ‘thankful’ for the impact LIV Golf has had on the sport and insists that it hasn’t been a bad year of golf.
The former world No 1 has regularly spoken out in support of golf's traditional tours, following the Saudi-backed circuit's launch earlier this year and them offering an expanded 14-event tournament schedule in 2023.
Reigning Champion Golfer of the Year Cameron Smith, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau were among the star names to join the breakaway tour, with the PGA Tour suspending indefinitely any player to feature at LIV Golf events.
The PGA Tour responded to LIV Golf's growth by overhauling its schedule and significantly increasing prize purses, with 12 "elevated" events boasting an average purse of $20 million and the Player Impact Program doubling in size to offer a $100 million bonus pool to the top 20.
"I think on this side of things we [PGA Tour players] should be thankful that LIV happened," Rahm said Wednesday ahead of the Hero World Challenge. "I don't know if those changes would have happened if LIV wasn't in the picture. So to an extent, yeah, we should be thankful."
Rory McIlroy has previously suggested that it may take chief-executive Greg Norman exiting LIV Golf to get any resolution with golf's main tours, although Rahm insists that golf can move forward from the fractures within the sport.
"I don't think it was a bad year for golf," Rahm added. "Yes, there's certain division, but I think we're moving forward.
"Like I said, on this side a lot of the changes we owe to the appearance of LIV. I don't think it's a bad thing. I just hope the negative, let's say, feel that this whole thing has, right, the animosity goes away.
"I don't think there needs to be a lawsuit, I don't think each side needs to be saying anything negative about each other. If you want to try to co-sexist, co-exist. LIV can do their thing and the PGA Tour can do their thing.
"I just don't see the whole point of them saying something bad and then the PGA Tour responding in a way. When I mean them, it can be players, it can be Greg Norman, it can be anybody on that side, right. That to me is just a bit of a waste of time.
"They're going to do whatever they want and on this side, we're going to do whatever we want. At the end of the day, I think the fans are coming out on top."
LIV Golf to use former Ryder Cup venue in 2023
The LIV Golf League will stage events in Spain, Mexico and Singapore next year, all at venues regularly used by the PGA Tour or DP World Tour.
The Spanish event will be held from June 30 to July 2 at Valderrama, which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup, two WGC events and numerous tournaments on the DP World Tour, most recently in October.
Adrian Otaegui, who successfully challenged sanctions imposed by the DP World Tour for competing in LIV Golf events, cruised to a six-shot victory in the Andalucia Masters with a tournament-record total of 19 under par.
Mayakoba's El Camaleon Golf Course (February 24-26) and Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore (April 28-30) join The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide (April 21-23) on the expanded schedule of 14 LIV events.
El Camaleon has hosted a PGA Tour event since 2007, while Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia are among the winners of the Singapore Open at Sentosa.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said: "LIV Golf is truly a global league dedicated to expanding the sport throughout the world, and these destinations for the league's 2023 launch showcase our commitment to tournament play at the highest level.
"These venues have played host to signature moments in golf and we're excited to build new traditions for the sport while delivering a first-class fan experience at some of the world's best courses."