Rahm: "Of course I miss some PGA events"

“There are great sports that can coexist. In the end, I believe there's room for everyone, both for golfers and fans"

by Andrea Gussoni
Rahm: "Of course I miss some PGA events"
© Getty Images Sport - Stuart Franklin / Staff

Jon Rahm offered his press conference on Tuesday ahead of the 88th edition of the Masters Tournament at Augusta (April 11-14), where he will defend the green jacket he won last year. It will be the first time the golfer from Barrika faces this tournament since his move to the LIV Golf, the Saudi super league that has disrupted the traditional apparatus of this sport, prompting many questions, in what was one of his first contacts with the Spanish press since the bombshell broke, directed towards the future of professional golf, especially following the meeting held on Monday in Florida between the warring factions to advance negotiations for peace.

Jon Rahm, statements

“There are great sports that can coexist. In the end, I believe there's room for everyone, both for golfers and fans. If we can coexist with a bit of bad blood, in quotation marks, imagine what it could be like if there's some unity, if both tours are elevated so that we can all play at a higher level.

I think it would be good for everyone. But I also understand that it's very easy for me to say being on both teams. There was a meeting yesterday (Monday) that may change certain things, but I don't know what happened or what will happen,” said the 29-year-old from Biscay.

“I didn't have plans to do certain things at this time last year. I didn't intend to change my mind. I was happy as I was playing and was focusing on what I needed to do to win tournaments. It was a bit later, at the end of the year, when I started considering certain things.

I met with them (the LIV) and I liked what they want to do and the direction they want to take, and that's why I made the decision. In the end, it wasn't something done without much thought. It was a longer process than many believe.

In a short term, in quotation marks, I had many decisions to make and I reflected before doing so. Now I'm eager to keep playing just as well and keep achieving things,” he detailed again the process that led to an unexpected change of direction last December.

“In the end, my intention is that in 20, 30, or 40 years, when I retire, there are people and children who want to play for my team,” he added. Jon acknowledged that in a way, he misses his old ‘home’, especially in special weeks like the previous one, when The Players was played, the ‘fifth major’.

“Of course, there are tournaments I miss. I hope to be able to play The Players again someday. Not defending the title from last year at Riviera was also tough,” he admitted, with a nod to Scottie Scheffler who became the first player to win it in consecutive years: “What an achievement, in a tournament that practically all the greatest golfers in history have played.

It must be something special”. “Regarding my season, it's been different, but I'm enjoying it. We've played on great courses, I highly recommend Hong Kong. So far, everything has been great, and I've played good golf.

But I definitely look forward to meeting the best players in the world at the Masters,” he added. Another issue that the US Open champion addressed is the exponential leap in his fame with the green jacket: “It's been much bigger than when I won the US Open.

The level of attention, recognition, the level of commitment it demands... It's been much greater than I expected. I guess it's because it's the most watched thing in this sport alongside the Ryder Cup, the only thing that catches the attention even of those who don't follow golf.

I remember in college people watching it in the middle of class, you looked at the computers and on the screen, you saw Amen Corner”. Memories of his triumph Rahmbo lamented that the Copa del Rey final that Mallorca will play against Bilbao on April 6 will catch him in the final stretch of preparation for the Masters, playing the next LIV stop in Miami (April 5-7): “I haven't been able to watch any of the last Supercopa games.

In the end, I'll be playing, and I have to be focused on what I'm doing. This one I'm definitely going to miss for sure,” he resigned himself, before going on to recount his great memories of that magical Sunday last year when he knocked out Koepka on his way to his first Masters win of his career.

“The most emotional thing is the reaction of the crowd walking to the 18th green. Then, I think the visit to the locker room is another great memory. In the end, it's so unique to be able to enter as champion into that locker room...

Knowing that it's my locker room forever and being united with those great players is something very special. And above all, being able to share it with my father and my wife. Another one is that moment on the 18th hugging my father.

Thinking about it is something special. At that moment, I remembered all the days of training, the trips, the, in quotation marks, arguments and teachings, and well, I thought I hope to have those moments with my son. It's hard to explain.

And then obviously, the hug with Chema, I don't remember what he said. It's like mentally I wasn't present because I have zero idea what he said, but I know it was something very special,” he recounted.