Rory McIlroy: “I don’t see a world where Jon Rahm is not on the European Ryder Cup team”

Mark McGowan

Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Rory McIlroy has yet to engage in any official media conversations at the Memorial Tournament in Colombus Ohio, but he took time to talk to Garrett Johnston of the Beyond the Clubhouse podcast and the world number three went into further detail about his regrets on leading the PGA Tour’s defence in the wake of LIV Golf’s arrival.

“I don’t know, I just think that, maybe putting so much into it and not getting that much back in return,” he said through pauses when questioned about those exact regrets were. “I think people are going to do what they’re going to do. Ultimately, people are going to make the right decisions based on what they feel is the best thing for themselves. I think for me, I just didn’t have the empathy to understand where people were coming from when they decided to go to LIV and I think a couple of years down the line, I’ve sort of gotten a better perspective on it.

“It’s created this divide in the game, which is unfortunate, but – hopefully – in the future we can all come back together. That would be great for everyone – great for the players, great for the fans, great for everyone involved in golf. We see it four times a year, but I think we need to see it a few more times than that.”

Today marks 365 days (2024 is a leap year) since the shock June 06 announcement that the PGA and DP World Tours had opted to bury the hatchet with LIV, so to speak, and a potential resolution seems to still be a long way off. But McIlroy claims that he’s not frustrated with the slow process.

“Not particularly,” he replied when asked if the drawn out negotiations were annoying, “because these things take time, this thing isn’t just going to happen overnight and there’s going to have to be compromises made on both sides.

“2026, if that means we’ve just got a year-and-a-half left of this and 2026 looks a little different, I actually think that’s a pretty good timeline considering all of the things that have to be worked out.”

LIV’s pursuit, and eventual acquisition of Jon Rahm was seen by many as the catalyst that would speed up negotiations, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Though he’s been suspended by the PGA Tour, Rahm remains a DP World Tour member provided he pays the fines due and, as such, will still be eligible for Ryder Cup participation and McIlroy, who came out in support of Rahm’s Ryder Cup credentials in the wake of the earth shattering move, has seen nothing to alter his perception.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he responded when asked if he still thought Rahm would be at Bethpage in 2025. “I don’t see a world where Jon Rahm is not on the European Ryder Cup team. We need him, he’s great in the team room, everybody loves him. Yeah, especially at Bethpage next time, we need Jon Rahm on that team. We need all the help we can get.”

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