Don’t expect Jon Rahm to fill the vacancy left by Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour’s policy board.
Rahm was asked for his reaction to McIlroy’s abrupt resignation as a player director during his pre-tournament press conference Wednesday in Dubai, where he’s competing in the DP World Tour’s finale. The 29-year-old Spaniard said he didn’t expect the news, and he didn’t waste any time in shutting down the possibility of him taking the position before anyone could ask a follow-up.
“Oh, you won't see me there,” Rahm said. “Absolutely no chance. I've been asked a couple times if I have any interest, and I'm not going to spend, I don't know how many meetings they have, but they are six, seven, hour plus long. I'm not here for that.”
Rahm then continued: “As regards to Rory, he's obviously been put in a situation where a lot has been expected of him, and I don't know the exact reason why he left the board. But I certainly wouldn't blame somebody like him to just want to focus a bit more on his game and his family and enjoy the bit of time he's truly earned. Again, it's a big commitment for somebody to be part of it.”
Rahm recently backed out of McIlroy’s tech golf league, TGL, citing the extra demands of his time, which Rahm believes could negatively affect his performance on the golf course.
“Being part of the PAC and the chairman, it does require some time,” Rahm said. “I don't know. I think it is a significant commitment, so it could have an effect. It's not only the meetings. It's the phone calls and the players wanting to talk to you. So those hours you spent on the golf course are a little bit busier. So, I think it could hinder a little bit, and there's a reason probably why I can't recall any great player being a full-time board member and winning tournaments and majors at the same time, at least in recent history. Maybe there was, maybe back one day on the PGA Tour.
“But I can see how the lack of sleep definitely will limit your ability to compete.”
While we don't know Rahm's definition of "great player," there have been a handful of player directors who have won majors during their terms. However, Stewart Cink is the last one to do so, in 2009, and there have been just five since Larry Mize in 1987 – Tom Lehman (1996), Davis Love III (1997), Mark O'Meara (1998) and Cink.