McIlroy sad to see Rahm go to LIV, says Ryder Cup inclusion a must

Jon Rahm said Thursday that he’s hoping to play in future Ryder Cups even after his move to LIV Golf.

Rory McIlroy says that must happen, even with the two European stars now on opposite tours.

McIlroy addressed Rahm’s surprise exit to LIV in an interview with Sky Sports, saying he’s disappointed the two no longer will get to play against each other outside the major championships but hopeful Ryder Cup rules will be adjusted in the future so they can remain teammates in the biennial competition.

“Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025,” McIlroy said, referencing the Long Island course that will host the next Ryder Cup. “Because of this decision, the European Tour is going to have rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility. Absolutely. There’s no question about that. I certainly want Jon on the next Ryder Cup team.”

Members of LIV Golf didn’t play for Team Europe in this year’s Ryder Cup after resigning their DP World Tour memberships, leaving stalwarts like Sergio Garcia on the outside looking in when Team Europe beat the United States in Italy.

McIlroy has been one of the PGA Tour’s loudest critics of LIV Golf since its emergence. But he resigned from the tour’s policy board earlier this month, citing the time commitment as the biggest factor. He also was blindsided by the PGA Tour’s controversial decision on June 6 to enter into a framework agreement to form a partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour.

McIlroy told Sky Sports he had no problem with Rahm for his decision and noted that the framework agreement has made movement from the PGA Tour to LIV easier than it was beforehand.

“I’m going to miss competing against him week in and week out,” McIlroy said of Rahm. “He’s such a good player. He’s got so much talent. He’s so tenacious. He’s a great teammate in the Ryder Cup. I have nothing but good things to say about Jon. I respect the hell out of him as a golfer. It seems like he wants to live his life the right way. He wants to be a good dad, he wants to be a good husband.

“The thing I realized is you can’t judge someone for making a decision that they feel is the best thing for them. Is it disappointing for me? Yes. But the landscape of golf changed on June 6, whenever the framework agreement was announced. I think because of that it made the jump from PGA Tour to LIV a little bit easier for guys. They let the first guys take the heat. This framework agreement legitimatized basically what LIV was trying to do.”

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