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Jon Rahm's Attempt to Connect with Tiger Woods Goes Unanswered Amidst LIV Golf Move

Published February 29, 2024
3 months ago

In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of professional golf, the new LIV Golf circuit has been making significant waves, pulling some of the sport's top talent into its ambit. Among the marquee names to join the controversial league is Spain’s Jon Rahm. The world-renowned golfer recently opened up about his attempt to explain his high-profile move to LIV Golf to none other than golf legend Tiger Woods, only to have his messages left unacknowledged.

This revelation came about during an interview with ESPN, where Rahm, now ranked No. 3 in the world, discussed his efforts to reach out to Tiger Woods. Stressing that the switch to LIV Golf, reportedly worth around $500 million, was a “personal decision,” Rahm was met with silence from Woods, who himself has remained a staunch opponent of the breakaway series.

Despite Woods's lack of response, Jon Rahm experienced a different reaction from current world No. 2, Rory McIlroy. As a veteran on the tour and a vocal critic of LIV Golf, McIlroy's support both publicly and privately showcases a nuanced perspective amid the broader divide within professional golf.

Rahm’s disclosure underscores the complex relationships and varied stances among the world’s elite golfers as the sport confronts one of the most consequential schisms in its history. Rahm’s recent performances—in Mayakoba and Las Vegas—exhibit his continuous form, highlighting the caliber of talent now associated with the LIV Golf series.

Parallel to Rahm’s narrative is that of Talor Gooch, who experiences his own repercussions due to the protracted tussle between traditional golf institutions and the nascent LIV Golf initiative. Gooch's frustration was palpable in a recent conversation with Australian Golf Digest over his absence from this year’s Masters Tournament. Pointing out the deficiencies of the official world golf ranking (OWGR) system, which currently does not recognize LIV Golf events, Gooch’s ranking has plummeted, leaving him exasperated over the implications of such exclusions on the prestige of Majors.

Gooch, the 2023 LIV Golf individual champion, fervently believes that Majors should adapt to encompass the true breadth of talent—regardless of league affiliations. His concern about the potential tarnishing of legacies should career milestones be achieved in the absence of top players indicates a broader question of legitimacy and inclusivity in Major tournaments.

In what is perceived as an inconsistency, LIV’s Joaquin Niemann from Chile received an invitation to the Masters, attributed to his performance at the ISPS Handa Australian Open and other sanctioned events—a fact that heightens the frustration for those like Gooch and brings into question the parameters for such exclusivities.

The criticism didn’t stop with Gooch, as former World No. 1 Lee Westwood, also taking part in LIV Golf, echoed the sentiment in his comments to Australian Golf Digest. Calling out the official world golf ranking for being obsolete, Westwood’s commentary is a scathing indictment of the current state of affairs that risks diluting the relevance and objectivity of the ranking system.

In the shadow of these developments and the ongoing LIV Golf series, the world of professional golf finds itself at a crossroads, one that sees traditional conventions being challenged by the advent of new, lucrative circuits like LIV Golf, setting the stage for further discussions on the evolution of the sport.

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