Jon Rahm says he supports PGA Tour, but those comments don't sit well

Jon Rahm says he supports PGA Tour, but those comments don't sit well

Jon Rahm says he still supports the PGA Tour.

Not everyone is buying it.

Arron Oberholser, a former Tour winner, and his fellow Golf Channel analyst, Paige Mackenzie, took issue with Rahm’s comments about the LIV defector’s Tour loyalty earlier Tuesday ahead of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

During his pre-championship presser, Rahm was asked for his observations “from the other side” on the current negotiations between the Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which funds LIV, the league that signed Rahm last December for a reported mid-nine figures. Rahm took immediate exception to the assertion that he was on the “other side.”

“See, you guys keep saying ‘the other side,’ but I'm still a PGA Tour member, whether suspended or not,” Rahm 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. That's at least personally.”

Rahm later added: “I've said however I can, I would like to support [the Tour], right? So even though I'm playing full-time on LIV Golf, like I've said many times, had I been allowed, I would have played some events earlier in the year, and if allowed in the future and not conflicting with my schedule, I would play in the future. … The PGA Tour has given me so much and has given me this platform and the opportunity that I'm not really going to turn to the side and go against it, because I'm not going against it.”

Oberholser, speaking from Golf Channel’s “Live From” desk, couldn’t believe his ears.

“He doesn’t get it,” Oberholser said of Rahm. “To this day, he doesn’t get it. And this is a guy who wanted a position or wanted to be heard ... and I feel like he wasn’t as heard as much as he probably should’ve 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 – not happy with what’s going on right now, obviously, but supports the PGA Tour – I’m incensed, quite honestly, by the level 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…

“Every player in that locker room right now if they watch that – and they’re on the PGA Tour – should be absolutely incensed by that.”

Added Mackenzie: "It’s, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. If you want to support the PGA Tour, you stay. It’s very simple, you just don’t go."

Many believed that Rahm’s move to LIV would expedite some sort of definitive agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF. But following Jimmy Dunne’s abrupt resignation from the Tour’s policy board on Monday and Dunne’s accompanying comments citing “no meaningful progress” being made in the negotiations, it still appears a deal is far from imminent.

If anything, Oberholser argued, Rahm leaving "pushed it further apart."

Rahm said he isn’t privy to discussions, but he echoed Rory McIlroy’s recent thoughts that there will need to be compromise from both sides to ultimately reach an agreement. Rahm also supports McIlroy’s desire for a world tour, saying, “I would love to be able to see that.”

Rahm didn’t, however, seem frustrated with the speed of the negotiations.

"This would be some decisions and negotiations that can't be taken lightly, so it should take quite a bit of time to get it done properly,” Rahm said. “I wouldn't want to see something rushed just to get a resolution and not be comfortable for everybody of having just pushing the issues down the road, right? So, since I don't know what's going on behind closed doors, I really can't tell you, but I think they should take their time to make this work properly.

“I don't know if that takes one, two, three, five, six years. I don't know what that might be like. But I don't feel like I'm on any rush to make something happen today.”