Jon Rahm’s most important question in PGA Tour-Saudi deal? His answer says plenty

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm on Tuesday during his press conference ahead of the U.S. Open.

Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Jon Rahm remembers where he was on June 6, 2023.

Yeah, it’s kinda gotten to that point.  

“I was at home taking care of the kids,” he said Tuesday. “I was just having my normal morning, making coffee and breakfast, and basically texts just started flowing in. I thought my phone was going to catch on fire at one point. There were so many questions that I just couldn’t answer. It’s basically what it was. 

“I think it was that day at one point I told Kelley [his wife] I’m just going to throw my phone in the drawer and not look at it for the next four hours because I can’t deal with this anymore.”

Welcome to U.S. Open week, where it’s doubling as the first full week of the proposed bombshell deal among the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. It’s … something. Ahead of the year’s third major, players are being asked about the golf at Los Angeles Country Club. The long par-3s! The short one, too! The potentially drivable par-4! They’re also being pressed for thoughts on the other matter. Who’s in charge? What’s this all going to look like? Why now? On and on. All good questions, though that’s not our opinion.   

That comes from Rahm

“A lot of you guys have talked about being clueless about last week’s news and what the future holds going forward,” a reporter started. “How frustrating is that …” 

Rahm butted in before he could finish.

“Add me to that, by the way.” 

Indeed. It was much the same from other players here. At one point on Monday, during the press conference for defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick, a moderator for the USGA even stopped talk on the subject. The questions were understandably being asked about the deal — it’s just that the pros didn’t know, either, and there’s only so much you can say. We’ve been told that four people — Tour commissioner Jay Monahan; businessman Jimmy Dunne and lawyer Ed Herlihy, who are both on the Tour’s policy board; and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF’s governor — brokered the deal, and outside of a handful of folks, everyone — pros and non-pros alike — found out en masse.   

Which makes a moment from Rahm’s press conference a good summation of the state of affairs. 

The PGA Tour-LIV Golf company line at the U.S. Open? Well …
By: Nick Piastowski

He was asked what questions he would have. 

And the world’s second-ranked player and newest Masters champ didn’t answer that. 

But he did respond.

“Well, there’s a lot of not-answered questions,” Rahm started. “It’s tough when it’s the week before a major. Trying not to think about it as much as possible.”

He continued.

“I think it gets to a point where you want to have faith in management, and I want to have faith that this is the best thing for all of us, but it’s clear that that’s not the consensus. I think the general feeling is that a lot of people feel a bit of betrayal from management. I understand why they had to keep it so secret. I understand we couldn’t make it through a PAC meeting with more than 10 minutes after people spilling the beans right away in some article by you guys already being out there. So I get it. I get the secrecy. It’s just not easy as a player that’s been involved, like many others, to wake up one day and see this bombshell. That’s why we’re all in a bit of a state of limbo because we don’t know what’s going on and how much is finalized and how much they can talk about, either. 

“It’s a state of uncertainty that we don’t love, but at the end of the day, I’m not a business expert. Some of those guys on the board and involved in this are. So I’d like to think they’re going to make a better decision than I would, but I don’t know. We’ll see. There’s still too many questions to be answered.”

“I think it gets to a point where you want to have faith in management, and I want to have faith that this is the best thing for all of us, but it’s clear that that’s not the consensus.” And that was followed by: “I’d like to think they’re going to make a better decision than I would, but I don’t know.”

You may want to re-read that. You don’t hear those kinds of things every day. 

‘He’s missed all over’: At a SoCal U.S. Open, Tiger Woods’ absence still looms
By: Jack Hirsh

There’s more. Consider this exchange. 

“I know you try to mostly not pay attention to the noise the last couple of years, but with what happened last week, is there a part of it that’s almost a little bit freeing knowing that player opinion just isn’t really that important to the future?” Asked a reporter.

“I’m not sure I know how to answer that,” Rahm said. “I think to an extent, they value player opinion. They’ve certainly heard us throughout the whole process on some of the issues. But we’re certainly in a spot in time where there’s a big question mark. Where we don’t have the answers we would like. It’s hard to say.”

To an extent. 

Another answer, hidden in a non-answer.  

We’ll end things here with the golf. 

Actually, the golf and the Tour-Saudi deal all rolled into one. Rahm was asked how he focuses on his game amidst the questions.

“What I do? To be honest, I think a little bit in my case is perspective,” he said. “No matter what happens, whether I agree with it or not, thanks to the PGA Tour, they give me a platform to play golf at the highest level, and after taking advantage of that possibility, I’m in a situation where my family and my kids don’t have to struggle financially ever, and I don’t know how many generations I can help if I do it properly.

“I’m in a very high state of privilege in this world. I can do what I want. I can do what I love for a living. I have a blast every single day even though I get mad on the golf course every once in a while. When I start with that point of view, no matter what happens, I can only be thankful to what’s going on. 

“If things change, things change. I’m just — I’ll have to adapt to the situation and will have to make some decisions on what’s going on forward, and I’ll make some decisions. At the end of the day, I’m still very privileged, whether the PGA Tour LIV Golf align or not or who plays and who likes who. It doesn’t really matter. I’m happy where I am in my life, and every day in the morning when I look at my kids, I’m even more blessed in that sense.

“It’s an easy way to forget about what’s going on when I look at it that way. I can see where I came from in Spain, especially every time I see my parents I remember where we came from and where I’m at. And to be honest, all those possible issues seem like a very, very small issue compared to other things in the world. Yeah, I just consider myself very privileged, and if anything very thankful to be where I am.”

“If things change, things change.” 

Think about that, too. 

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

Exit mobile version