Rahm talks about “hostilities” towards him after signing for LIV

Twelve months ago, everything was pink. Or green. Jon Rahm had just put on the jacket for the first time as the winner of the Masters and the world surrendered at his feet. The Biscayan, winner of two majors, was one of the flagships of the PGA, the traditional world golf circuit. A source of pride for the American people. Now, in his first trial by fire after embracing the groundbreaking LIV, a decision that, he says, has generated rejection from some colleagues, he has given arguments to those who think that the lack of competitiveness of the new Saudi league has harmed him. in Augusta, where he achieved his worst cumulative result ever (+9) and did not go beyond 45th place.

It is still early to draw hasty conclusions about his decision, but what seems clear is that the preparation for the first major of the course has been far from previous. The change in format, Rahm now plays three-day competitions and without cuts, has caused him to arrive at Augusta with half the number of holes played. If in 2023 he completed eight tournaments plus the group stage of the extinct Dell World Match Play Championship, a total of 33 rounds, his start to 2024 has been much calmer. He has played five LIV tournaments, that is, 15 rounds. Less than half the hours in the field. Furthermore, his preseason lasted a month longer than usual. The PGA kicked off as soon as the year began and the Saudi league did not do so until the first weekend of February in Mayakoba, Mexico.

Travel has also increased. From Riviera Maya he went to Las Vegas, but then headed to Asia. He played two weeks in a row in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Hong Kong. And the last week before the Masters he had to do it – his multimillion-dollar contract requires him to attend all the tournaments – in Miami. Another change is that Rahm does not usually compete in the weeks before the majors. He prefers to try the field and take it easier. The next big stage is the PGA Championship, which takes place from May 16 to 19 at Valhalla Golf Club (Louisville, Kentucky). Before, a beating of 40,000 kilometers. The Biscayan is already resting at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, but next week he will cross the globe to travel to Adelaide, Australia. From April 26 to 28 he will play the sixth LIV competition there and a week later he will do so in Singapore. This time he will have two weeks to prepare for a big one. “It does not worry me. In fact, I like to travel,’ the man from Barrika said on Sunday at the end of his worst Masters.

Has the LIV influenced your poor result? For Rahm, it has nothing to do with it. «Let’s see, let’s not go crazy, he wasn’t Tiger (Woods) in 2000 either. In this sport, it is something so small that can make you win or not that I am not worried. “It will come,” analyzed Rahm, who in the previous days repeated that “I have been playing in the PGA with a cut all my life. “I haven’t forgotten it after five tournaments.” What has changed is Jon’s relationship with several colleagues who remain faithful to the PGA liturgy.

“I expected it”

Sergio García, also a green jacket, spoke of certain hostilities towards his figure after his signing for the Saudi competition in 2022. A year and a half later, Rahm confirmed that it is happening to him too. It was the first time that he met up with the rest of the players and the tension was evident. «Yes, in some there are, but I expected it. And then there was someone else who I expected to be drier, one of them hugged me. If someone changes their opinion about me, it’s more their problem than mine. It doesn’t affect me or make me crazy. “My friends are still my friends,” analyzed ‘Rahmbo’ with great maturity, who wants to isolate himself from all the noise generated after his decision and every time he has the opportunity he launches a plea in pursuit of peace between both circuits, a scenario still far away for the tensions between the parties.

Let’s talk about figures. The 2023 green jacket granted Rahm the eternal invitation to compete here and a succulent bonus that exceeded three million euros. Now, his discreet 45th place, tied with José María Olazabal, is rewarded with 57,200 dollars (almost 54,000 euros), 98.2% less. The financial purse of the Masters does not stop increasing. In this edition the prizes went from 18 to 20 million dollars (18.74 million euros). As the winner, Scottie Scheffler has pocketed 3.4 million euros. The American, firm dominator of the moment, shows that you can also win a lot of money in the PGA. The one from New Jersey exceeds twelve million euros in earnings in the last month, during which time he has won the Arnold Palmer and the prestigious The Players, considered the fifth largest, in addition to his second green jacket. In the history of the Masters, Scheffler has risen to third place in terms of financial prizes, with seven million in just five participations. Rahm is in fifth (eight contests) with five million euros. Leading the ranking is the historic Phil Mickelson, a friend of Rahm and also in the LIV, with nearly ten million. Below is the incombustible Tiger Woods, with 9.6. The ‘tiger’, who reached one hundred laps in the Masters on Sunday, broke the record for consecutive cuts made in Augusta, with 24. On the other hand, on Saturday he recorded his worst round at the National Club, with 82 strokes, ten over par.

2024-04-15 22:56:25
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