Rahm: "Tiger Woods is too busy to talk to me"

Jon Rahm's departure from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf circuit continues to stir considerable controversy in the golf world

by Andrea Gussoni
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Rahm: "Tiger Woods is too busy to talk to me"
© Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport

Jon Rahm's departure from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf circuit continues to stir considerable controversy in the golf world. While several golfers have expressed their support for the Spanish golfer's decision, other prominent figures in golf have ceased to have contact with Rahm after his departure from the circuit.

Jon Rahm, results

In an interview with Marty Smith on ESPN, Rahm himself confessed to informing two major names in golf about his departure with very different reactions. The first reaction came from Rory McIlroy, Rahm's teammate in the Ryder Cup and previously on the PGA Tour, who openly supported Rahm's decision.

"Rory McIlroy publicly supported my decision, and he also did so privately," stated the Spanish golfer. However, Rahm also revealed that he informed another legend, Tiger Woods, about his departure... but in this case, he did not receive a response, something that Rahm regretted.

"Did Tiger Woods support me? No, not really. I wrote to Tiger and to the people who were close to the process when I signed and said, 'Hey, you know, it's a personal decision.' I think he's too busy to talk to me." These were surprising statements following the Spanish golfer's exit to the LIV Golf in news that shook the golf world.

He attended Arizona State University and won 11 tournaments in college, second only to Phil Mickelson who claimed 16 titles. In 2015, he competed as an amateur in the Phoenix Open, finishing fifth. On April 1st, he became the number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and held that position for 25 weeks, regaining it for another 35 weeks.

He thus qualified for the U.S. Open and the Open Championship the following year: in the former of the two tournaments, he finished twenty-third, then turned professional, thereby forfeiting the right to play in the Open. The Quicken Loans National was his first professional event, and he finished third.

He came in second at the Canadian Open. At the end of the season, he earned a card for the PGA Tour 2017. Rahm found his first success at the Farmers Insurance Open thanks to an eagle on the last hole, securing entry into the major tournaments worldwide.

At the Mexico Championship, a World Golf Championships event, he finished third, two shots behind the winner Dustin Johnson, while in the second event, the Dell Technologies Match Play, he lost the final against the same Johnson.

He then won the Irish Open by six shots and the final tournament of the European Tour season, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, also claiming the Rookie of the Year award. He started 2018 with a second-place finish at the Tournament of Champions, still behind Dustin Johnson, but then triumphed at the CareerBuilder Challenge, reaching the second position in the rankings.

This was followed by victories at the Spanish Open and the 2018 Ryder Cup with the European team. He ended the year by winning the Hero World Challenge in December. In 2019, he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and finished third at the U.S.

Open. He then won the Irish Open again and defended his title at the Spanish Open. At the end of the season, he triumphed again at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, finishing at the top of the Race to Dubai and becoming the European Tour Golfer of the Year.

In the pandemic-affected year of COVID-19, thanks to the Memorial Tournament title, he became the world number one, the second Spaniard in history to do so after Severiano Ballesteros. In August, he also won the BMW Championship, beating Dustin Johnson in a playoff.

In June 2021, he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament, where he was leading by six shots at the end of the third round, due to a positive COVID-19 test. However, his first major victory came on June 20th at the U.S.

Open, with two birdies in the last two holes. In July, he finished third at the Open Championship, tied with Louis Oosthuizen. Subsequently, in October, he won the Ryder Cup 2023 for the second time. On December 8, 2023, it was announced that the Spanish golfer would be moving from the PGA Tour to the Saudi circuit LIV Golf, with whom he signed a three-year participation contract estimated to earn him around 550 million euros.

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