Rahm and Hatton welcome Rory’s LIV U-turn

Ronan MacNamara
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Jon Rahm (Image: James Gilbert/USGA)

Ronan MacNamara

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New LIV Golf signings Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton have welcomed Rory McIlroy’s softened stance on the Saudi backed tour after the world number two called for changes to Europe’s Ryder Cup qualifying criteria and to allow LIV defectors back onto the PGA Tour.

It’s been a good off season for LIV who secured the bumper $500m signing of Rahm before Christmas, while they have secured top European talents, Hatton and DP World Tour Player of the Year, Adrian Meronk.

“I haven’t spoken to him a lot recently but he might have had a change in thought process, as in maybe with some of the things he said in the past,” Rahm said.

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“I think he might be seeing that the landscape of golf is changing and at some point you need to evolve. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but it’s nice to have the support from a player the caliber of Rory, especially those Ryder Cup remarks he made early on. I think that’s an important statement for change to be said.”

Yesterday the PGA Tour announced a partnership with Strategic Sports Group where players will have the opportunity to receive over $1.5 billion in immediate and future equity.

Rahm was reluctant to comment on the new partnership and what it could mean for LIV.

“We’ve had enough to think about,” he said. “I was worried about maybe not having Tyrrell here this week. Yeah, that was really in the back of my mind, like really far back in my mind.

“There’s a lot bigger people that are a lot smarter than me that are going to be worrying about that that actually have a say in it, and they should be thinking about it.

“I think we’re here to play golf, perform, and whatever comes comes.”

World number sixteen, Hatton, would like to be able to play on the PGA and DP World Tour in the future.

“I’ve spoken to Rory a bit in the past week and back in December. That’s kind of along the lines of what he said to me. It’s not a surprise to hear him say that in the media.

“Ultimately, I would like to still be able to play events on the other two tours. We’ll see how all that works out.”

 

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