Last year’s U.S. Open winner, Jon Rahm, described new requirements issued by the PGA Tour as putting him in a “difficult position” this week.
The Spaniard was responding to the Tour’s just-announced rules for top players that would necessitate Tour members to play 20 tournaments a year.
To Rahm, those expectations and requirements conflict with the DP World Tour’s already-existing rule that European players must tee it up in at least four events on the circuit formerly known as the European Tour.
In an interview after his second round at this past weekend’s Tour Championship, Rahm pointed out that he had only played 17 events since this past January.
Rahm’s reaction to the minimum of 20 PGA Tour events is telling.
Reporter: “Do you know something we don’t”.
Rahm: “pfft, me, no, you’re asking the wrong guy, if you wanna know about that stuff you know who are the 2 players you have to ask”. pic.twitter.com/72luV1C8PB
— Flushing It (@flushingitgolf) August 27, 2022
“If we have to play all those 20, then yeah, a 100 percent (it’s asking more of the European players),” Rahm said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes, because that puts me in a difficult position if I go play in Europe in the fall like I’m going to — I have to play from January until August 20 times.
“I think this is my 17th tournament since January, and I don’t think I could add any more. So yeah, especially with Ryder Cup and having to play four in Europe, I think it’s a bit of an ask, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they revise a bit of a rule or make an exception for some players.”
The changes were announced by Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan during Tour Championship week, largely thought to be in response to the new LIV Golf Series.
Rahm has been outspoken in his support for the PGA Tour. In June the former world No. 1 said that he considered the PGA Tour to be “the best platform” for professional golf. He also said that LIV’s no-cut format “is not a golf tournament.”
Rahm’s remarks indicate that support for the PGA Tour may not be as solid among the world’s top players as has been suggested.
More troubling for Ponte Vedra, they suggest that Wednesday’s announcement was not the knockout blow it was clearly intended to be. There’s still some obvious daylight between the best players on the circuit and the Tour’s management.