Rahm lauds ‘incredible’ McIlroy for LIV stance and golf performances

Ronan MacNamara

Jon Rahm (Image: Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Spaniard Jon Rahm has heaped praise on Rory McIlroy for how he has performed this year both on and off the course. 

McIlroy has assumed the unofficial official position of PGA Tour spokesperson in the fight against LIV Golf where he has maintained a constant stance against the Saudi-backed organisation while also going on to win the FedEx Cup and getting back to world number one for the first time in two years. 

Rahm who began the year at the summit of the World Golf Rankings before being overtaken by Scottie Scheffler in March thinks McIlroy’s performances this season have been outstanding considering what he has had to deal with behind the scenes. 

“He’s played amazing golf to win the FedExCup, and to have a chance to win The Race to Dubai as well, it’s unique,” explained Rahm who tees off with Ewen Ferguson at the DP World Tour Championship. “This would be I think the second time in his career he wins both, which is quite an accomplishment. He’s played amazing. 

“I think the only thing he will tell you that’s missing is a major championship of having a pretty amazing year. It’s great to see somebody with his platform to take a stand as he did, whether you agree with it or not, he’s taken a stand on what he believes in and that’s it. I think it’s great. 

“He’s had a lot of input. He’s been on the board of the PGA TOUR and tried to make a change. To be honest, with how long those meetings are and how much as players we talk to each other to play as good as he has, is pretty remarkable. I mean, in this profession, we are all basically CEOs of our own little golf company, and now he has invested in so much more. Again, the role he’s had in both is quite incredible.” 

The 2021 US Open champion was speaking after receiving honorary membership of the DP World Tour from Keith Pelley. 

“Well, you know, that’s something when I started my pro career, I didn’t know it was a possibility. But I think it was 2017 when I was playing in Valderrama, that Tuesday or Wednesday dinner hosted by Sergio’s foundation and he was presented, it might have been 2018, he was presented with the Honorary Life Membership, and I was present. I was present when he won the Masters and he was present when he was awarded with this great honour. 

“To join the list of the icons that have earned it, it is truly an honour. I’ve said many times, any time in our small country, golf-wise, any time you can write your name in history next to some of the greatest that have accomplished this before me is very unique. 

“To keep doing things like this, is a true honour to represent Spain. It’s a true honour to receive it, so thank you.” 

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