Jon Rahm believes that the absence of LIV dissidents will dilute the Ryder Cup and that the greatest players from America and Europe should compete in Rome.
The turbulent nature of men’s professional golf dominates the build-up to next year’s biannual clash in the Italian city, as the civil war around the Saudi-Arabian-backed LIV Golf series rages on.
Rory McIlory, Europe’s premier player, has stayed firm in his view that players who have deserted to LIV should not be part in any capacity in Rome.
However, Rahm, who is expected to be a key member of the European side, disagrees with McIlroy and believes the event should not be framed as a clash of rival tours.
“The Ryder Cup is not the PGA Tour and European Tour against LIV – it’s Europe versus the US, period.” Rahm said. “The best of each against the other, and for me the Ryder Cup is above all. I wish they could play but it doesn’t look good.”
When the breakaway occurred, Rahm turned down a substantial offer from the Saudi circuit to remain loyal to the PGA and DP World Tours.
However, LIV’s American players are almost probably unable to compete for the USA team, which is attempting to win the Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 30 years.
The PGA Tour has put indefinite bans on all LIV dissidents, which means Ryder Cup favourites like Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka will be unable to compete in September.
Meanwhile, a hearing in the United Kingdom in February will determine if the DP World Tour can impose similar fines, which would prevent players like Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood from qualifying for Team Europe.
Rahm has previously stated that the millions of dollars on offer in Greg Norman’s invitational series would not change his lifestyle and that he plays golf to leave his own legacy.
And the current world number six is on track to break another record by tying famous countryman Seve Ballesteros’ record of three national open titles.
After a six-under-par 65 on Saturday, Rahm leads the 2022 Open de Espana by one stroke heading into the final round.
The Spaniard won the tournament in 2018 and 2019 and presently leads Australian Min Woo Lee by one stroke at 16 under par.
He did not card a single bogey in a flawless round and could become the latest European Ryder Cup hopeful to secure a victory after recent wins for Robert MacIntyre and Guido Migliozzi.