LOS ANGELES — PGA Tour players feel “a bit of betrayal” about the secrecy that preceded last week’s bombshell announcement that the circuit would partner with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and still have plenty of questions about the future, Jon Rahm said.
The world number two from Spain stayed loyal to the PGA Tour while others defected to the Saudi-backed LIV golf circuit for huge paydays, and those players will be eligible to rejoin the tour next year.
“You want to have faith in management, and I want to have faith that this is the best thing for all of us, but it’s clear that that’s not the consensus,” Mr. Rahm said on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Country Club ahead of this week’s US Open, the first major since the news broke.
“I think the general feeling is that a lot of people feel a bit of betrayal from management.”
Mr. Rahm said he could understand the need for secrecy but said other players and he were caught completely off guard by the June 6 announcement, which led to so many incoming text messages that he thought his phone might “catch on fire”.
“It’s just not easy as a player that’s been involved… to wake up one day and see this bombshell,” Mr. Rahm said. “It’s a state of uncertainty that we don’t love, but at the end of the day, I’m not a business expert. Some of those guys on the board and involved in this are.
“So I’d like to think they’re going to make a better decision than I would, but I don’t know. We’ll see. There’s still too many questions to be answered.”
While he may have missed out on the supersized paychecks the Saudi-backed circuit offered, the 2021 US Open winner and reigning Masters champion said he was grateful for the life the PGA Tour has afforded him.
“Whether I agree with it or not, thanks to the PGA Tour, they give me a platform to play golf at the highest level, and after taking advantage of that possibility, I’m in a situation where my family and my kids don’t have to struggle financially ever, and I don’t know how many generations I can help if I do it properly,” he said. — Reuters