‘I want to wring his neck:’ Golf Channel analysts irate after Jon Rahm comments

A split image of Aaron Oberholser and Jon Rahm.

Aaron Oberholser laid into Jon Rahm on Golf Channel's "Live From."

Golf Channel/Getty Images

Jon Rahm took exception to a reporter’s insinuation. In turn, a panel of Golf Channel analysts took exception to his exception.

At his pre-tournament press conference Tuesday ahead of the PGA Championship, the LIV Golf defector and World No. 4 was asked about Monday’s news that Jimmy Dunne was stepping down from his position on the PGA Tour policy board.

Dunne was the man who helped get the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s backers, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, to the table to create the June 6 framework agreement, which Rahm has credited as being one of the motivators to his December jump to the rival league. However, progress on finalizing the deal has since slowed.

But when the reporter asked what his reaction was “from the other side,” Rahm wanted to make something clear.

“See you guys keep saying ‘the other side’ but I’m still a PGA Tour member, whether suspended or not,” the 2023 Masters winner said. “I still want to support the PGA Tour. And I think that’s an important distinction to make. I don’t feel like I’m on the other side. I’m just not playing there.”

Rahm was hopeful, even after his jump to LIV Golf, that he would be able to defend his three PGA Tour titles before the Masters. He even said not being able to play those events was the “difficult” part of leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

The PGA, like the other three major championships, is not run by the PGA Tour, making the tournaments the only place where LIV and PGA Tour players play against each other.

But on Golf Channel, immediately following Rahm’s press conference’s airing, the panel on “Live From” took issue with Rahm making that “distinction.” Analyst Eamon Lynch used a metaphor to call Rahm a hypocrite.

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“It’s not often you hear the arsonists give advice to the firefighters on how to extinguish the blaze and start asking when he can move back into the house,” Lynch said, implying that Rahm and the rest of the LIV golfers were the cause of the current division in the pro game. “If he wanted to support the PGA Tour and present himself as a loyal member as he does, well then don’t be a stooge of the Saudis. Don’t sign up to be a willing leverage point as they attempt to upend or diminish the product that you’re claiming loyalty to.”

Former PGA Tour winner Aaron Oberholser, took it a step further, saying he was so mad at Rahm for his comments he wanted to “wring his neck through the television.”

He recalled that Rahm, before he went to LIV, sought greater influence in the PGA Tour’s decision-making, but now Oberholser is glad he didn’t get it.

“He doesn’t get it,” Oberholser said. “To this day, he doesn’t get it. And this is a guy who wanted a position or wanted to be heard, from what I understand. Either a board position, policy board. He wanted to be heard on this whole thing before he went to LIV. And I feel like he wasn’t as heard as much as he probably should have been.

“And now I’m glad he wasn’t in that position because he doesn’t get it. As a PGA Tour player and as a PGA Tour member — Still, a card-carrying PGA Tour member — and someone who supports the PGA tour, [who is] not happy with what’s going on right now, obviously, but supports the PGA tour. I’m incensed by that, quite honestly.

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“By the level of, to your point, of naivete that you don’t get it. You still don’t get it. You took 500 large, and then you’re going to sit there and tell me, oh, you still feel like a PGA Tour member. I want to support the PGA tour and I want the peak—

“I mean, I want to I want to wring his neck through the television. I’m that mad, right now. I’m that mad. I mean— and every player in that locker room right now, if they watch that — on the PGA Tour — should be absolutely incensed with him.”

Former LPGA player Paige Mackenzie and host George Savaricas then pointed out the contrast in Rahm’s tone to that of Phil Mickelson and the original players who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf in 2022, who were very critical of the legacy tour.

Mackenzie then pointed out the hypocrisy in Rahm’s rhetoric.

“You have what Jon Rahm said, which is effectively, if I’m reading between the lines, is ‘I went over there to help them mend the fences somehow,'” she said. “I can’t make that make sense on the move to leave. And somehow that’s going to bring everything together.”

Oberholser chimed in again to point out that Rahm’s move didn’t bring the game back together, it only divided it further.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.