Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are on the same side when it comes to the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf battle. Both have remained fully committed to the PGA Tour.
That doesn’t mean Rahm and McIlroy have always seen eye-to-eye on the state of affairs, especially given Rahm’s uneasiness in committing to playing 20 times on the PGA Tour each season.
And while McIlroy hasn’t really gone as far as to critique the PGA Tour’s moves in its fight against LIV Golf, Rahm didn’t hold back Wednesday.
“I’m not going to lie and tell you I agree with everything the PGA Tour has done,” Rahm told the media ahead of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. “It was a mistake and a wasted opportunity to not meet with LIV. Both sides missed the mark on that. And that is where a lot of the animosity started.”
McIlroy has been slowly moving closer to suggesting a truce between the two entities in recent weeks, again suggesting Tuesday there could be peace between the two sides, and that was something Rahm also agreed with in his comments.
Both also agree on the culprit for why negotiations haven’t taken place: LIV CEO Greg Norman.
“I think Greg has had a vendetta against the PGA Tour for a long time,” Rahm said. “And when you have an ulterior motive, it can cloud your judgment a little bit. Greg is a player, not a businessman, even if he has been successful in that area. To me, he has an ulterior motive beyond just creating a golf tour. He’s had this vengeance for 30 years.”
That vengeance stems from Norman’s failed attempt in the 1990s to start a World Golf Tour. PGA Tour players led by Arnold Palmer rebuked the idea and the tour never got off the ground despite securing a media rights deal from Fox Sports (The irony is not lost here).
McIlroy said Tuesday Norman should “exit stage left” and Rahm also felt Norman, who is now the subject of rumors to be replaced by former TaylorMade executive Mark King as CEO of LIV Golf, is not “the best person for the job.”
“His intentions might not be as pure as they could, which is a problem,” Rahm said. “So he might not be the best person for the job, even if he has done great things for the tour. I do believe that, for conversations to take place, Greg might need to be gone. Right now, it doesn’t seem like he and [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay [Monahan] will want to be in the same room together.
“Even if they disagreed, it would have been good to talk. So to get a resolution we might need one or both of them gone. I hope not. Jay has done a great job for the PGA Tour.”