Jon Rahm dismisses Phil Mickelson’s claim that PGA Tour is ‘trending down’: ‘Man, I love Phil, but I don’t know what he’s talking about’
To hear Jon Rahm tell it, Phil Mickelson has lost the plot.
Asked about Mickelson’s comments advancing a theory that the PGA Tour is trending downward, Rahm chuckled and said, “Man, I love Phil, but I don’t know what he’s talking about. I really, really don’t know why he said that.”
In case you missed it, here is what Mickelson said last week in Saudi Arabia during the LIV Golf event, which Brooks Koepka won.
“As I said earlier, for a long, long time, my 30 years on the PGA Tour, pretty much all the best players played on the PGA Tour, at least for the last 20 years,” he said. “That will never be the case again. I think going forward you have to pick a side. You have to pick what side do you think is going to be successful.
“And I firmly believe that I’m on the winning side of how things are going to evolve and shape in the coming years for professional golf. We play against a lot of the best players in the world on LIV, and there are a lot of the best players in the world on the PGA Tour. And until some of the – well, until both sides sit down and have a conversation and work something out, both sides are going to continue to change and evolve.
“And I see LIV Golf trending upwards, I see the PGA Tour trending downwards, and I love the side that I’m on. And I love how I feel. I love how I’m reinvigorated and excited to play golf and compete. I love the experience. I love the way they treat us.”
Back to Rahm, who noted that the Tour has made some changes, including elevating 13 events with higher purses that the best players all will be committed to play.
“There’s been some changes being made, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going down, right?” Rahm added. “I truly don’t know why he said that. Don’t know. I really don’t know.”
That makes five “don’t knows” if you’re scoring at home.
“I think there’s some great changes being made and great changes for the players on the Tour,” he continued. “I truly don’t know what drove him to say something like.” (Make that six don’t knows.)
What Rahm does know is he’s coming into the CJ Cup in South Carolina at Congaree Golf Club riding a heater of sorts. After a season that didn’t live up to his expectations – just one win on the PGA Tour at the Mexico Open at Vidanta and slipped from first to fifth in the world – Rahm finish T-2 at the BMW Championship and won the Spanish Open two weeks ago, firing a pair of final-round 62s at both events.
“I understand it’s not the strongest field, but it’s something that means a lot to me and sometimes controlling myself in the crowd can be a little hard,” Rahm said of winning in his homeland. “So for me it was a week to be proud of.”
Rahm credited a slight tweak to his setup that he made in August for his improved putting of late, and pinpointed when he re-discovered his groove.
“A lot of it with putting is confidence,” he said. “I think it was at BMW where after 27 holes I saw three putts go in and confidence went right back up and for the next few events I played amazing.”
Another thing Rahm knows: playing back home in Spain is the most draining week of his year, and this will be his only start on the fall portion of the 2022-23 FedEx Cup schedule. (He’s committed to play in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.)
“I can guarantee you next week I will not see a golf course,” he said.
Original article by Adam Schupak on Golfweek