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Jon Rahm rejects Phil Mickelson's claim about LIV Golf being on the up, and PGA Tour heading other way

John Rahm reacted to Liv Golf's Phil Mickelson, who said the PGA is on a downward trend. Rahm also said he feels a happy Europe Team is more important than an unhappy one; watch live coverage of the CJ Cup in South Carolina on Sky Sports Main Event from Thursday at 8pm.

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Jon Rahm has rejected Phil Mickelson's claim the PGA Tour is on a 'downward trend' and says animosity between players won't work in a Ryder Cup team after Sergio Garcia said he would rather not take part if he negatively affected his teammates.

Jon Rahm has rejected Phil Mickelson's claim that LIV Golf is on the rise while the PGA Tour is on its way down.

The world number five was asked about Mickelson's comments ahead of the CJ Cup in South Carolina.

"I mean, I love Phil, but I don't know what he's talking about. I really don't know why he said that. There's been some changes being made, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's going down," he said.

"Right. I really don't know why he said that. I don't know. I really. I really don't know.

Mickelson, a six-time major champion, was among the initial wave of players to switch from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's PIF and offers prize incentives significantly bigger than anything available in the professional game elsewhere.

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Phil Mickelson says he believes he's on the 'winning side' of the current divide within the sport, having chosen to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

His previous admissions the Saudis were "scary m************" to get involved with had threatened the launch of the breakaway circuit, leading to a public apology, although the 51-year-old praised their support to golf ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series event in Jeddah.

"The game of golf is very lucky to have the PIF invest in the game," Mickelson said in a press conference at Royal Greens Country Club. The sport of golf has had an influx of billions of dollars now. And the ability to go global and make golf a truly global sport is really beneficial for the game," he said.

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"Now the United States and the UK are not favourable to this, but everywhere else in the world, LIV Golf is loved. And eventually, they will come around and they will be accepting of it.

"The United States and the UK, where it's very negatively viewed currently, that has been changing and evolving already and in time in a few years it will be not only accepted but appreciated [because of] the involvement and the influx of capital into this sport and what it's doing."

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LIV Tour players joining the Ryder Cup squad could lead to disharmony

Sergio Garcia looks unlikely to feature in next year's Ryder Cup and he said last week that he doesn't feel welcome in Team Europe.

"It was a hard decision. "But unfortunately, it doesn't feel like I'm very welcome there, so I don't want to be a bother to anyone. I've always said I love the Ryder Cup too much. I obviously would love to keep being a part of it."

Rahm was asked about Garcia's comments and described it as an "unusual situation".

"Once you arrive and you're on that team environment - It's an unusual situation where everybody can be truly themselves with players that they maybe usually are not. So you need to have that welcoming aspect, right?

"If this is there's some animosity in between players, it's just not going to work out. I know team very few teams can succeed when players don't get along. So it's I don't know if you can really make that happen."

Rahm calls for longer breaks in golf

The Spaniard said golf organisers should consider giving players a month off during the season.

"In an ideal, let's say, golf schedule. In my mind, we would have September off," he said.

"That would be amazing. Like every other sport to have a nice break. But I understand golf is different and you have to work things out, but ideally three to four months off.

"I don't know if I could do it because I've never done it, but it would be, on paper, it sounds amazing."

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