Rory McIlroy has been one of the first players to assess Jon Rahm‘s decision to sign for LIV Golf. The Northern Irish golfer has shown respect and affection for the Spaniard. He even went a step further by assuming that the Ryder Cup selection rules will have to change so that the Spanish golfer can be in New York in 2025. Convincing.
“It’s hard for me to sit here and criticise Jon for the great player he is and for the experiences I’ve had with him. All I would say is that I’m disappointed at the idea that I’m not going to play with him more often,” he explained in statements to Sky.
As for the Ryder, he left no doubt. “Jon will be at Bethpage in 2025. So, due to this decision, the European Tour is going to have to rewrite the eligibility rules for the Ryder Cup. Absolutely. There’s no doubt about that. I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team,” he stated.
Rory McIlroy’s thoughts on Jon Rahm signing up to LIV pic.twitter.com/RsfkbFs7Mp
— Jamie Weir (@jamiecweir) December 8, 2023
McIlroy had some nice words for the player from Barrika. “I’m going to miss competing against him week after week. He’s such a good player. He’s so talented. He’s so tenacious. He’s a great teammate in the Ryder Cup. I have nothing but good things to say about Jon. I respect him a lot as a golfer and he seems to want to live his life the right way. He wants to be a good father. He wants to be a good husband. And look, you can’t judge someone for… I guess I realised that you can’t judge someone for making a decision that they feel is best for them.”
Rory believes that the framework agreement signed in June by the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is responsible for something like what happened to Jon Rahm. “Is it disappointing for me? Yes. But, you know, the landscape of golf changed on June 6, when the framework agreement was announced. I think that made the jump from the PGA Tour to LIV a bit easier. In a way, this framework agreement basically legitimised what LIV was trying to do. And I think it has made it easier.”
Regarding LIV products and traditional golf, Rory pointed out that “I don’t think the two compare at all. The PGA Tour and DP World are superior products. But the landscape of sport is changing. And if there’s a place for this kind of team golf and these franchises and all the things they talk about, you know, if team golf works, then maybe it will work… But my opinion is that there’s only one great team event in golf and it’s the Ryder Cup. And that’s never going to change.”