Rahm explains benefits of banning LIV rebels from Ryder Cup as he urges decision

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Jon Rahm has called for a decision on the Ryder Cup (Image: Getty Images)
Jon Rahm has called for a decision on the Ryder Cup (Image: Getty Images)

Jon Rahm has outlined why banning LIV Golf rebels from the Ryder Cup could benefit young players as he urged a final decision on the 2023 tournament.

The sport's most iconic team event takes place in Rome in late September, but remains clouded in ambiguity following the eruption of golf's civil war last year. In July, European captain Henrik Stenson was sensationally stripped of the honour after defecting to the Saudi-backed tour.

Should all LIV players be barred from competing, it could arguably undervalue the tournament, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Brooks Koepka all then ruled out of playing for Team USA. Ryder Cup icons Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood would also be absent from Italy, with the trio all having previously been tipped for vice-captain roles.

Spaniard Rahm debuted in the event in 2018 in Paris, when Thomas Bjorn led the hosts to a famous win. He also played in Europe's harrowing defeat in Wisconsin in 2021, an event played with crowd restrictions due to the impact of Covid-19.

And speaking ahead of the the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the world No 5 has spoken out on the apparent uncertainty: "My guess is I hope the PGA of America and European Tour make a decision together. I don't think it would be smart to have one team allowing LIV players and one not to," he argued.

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"Even if they decide not to on that side, I think it's going to give an opportunity for a lot of great young players to show up and have the chance in Europe, right? It's just going to be an opportunity for all of them. We saw a younger US team last Ryder Cup, and they did what they did."

Rahm explains benefits of banning LIV rebels from Ryder Cup as he urges decisionJon Rahm and Sergio Garcia at the 2021 Ryder Cup in Wisconsin (Getty Images)

The Americans romped home 19-9 last time around, but Rahm believes fresh blood could potentially inspire Europe's bid to regain the trophy: "So I'm hoping these younger guys who have grown up watching the Ryder Cup and seeing their idols do what they do, let's say, it energises the team a little bit in any manner, and we show up there to win."

Rahm has been one of the high profile stars to thus far reject the advances of Greg Norman and co. However, his attitude towards the rebel tour has also been a measured one, even insinuating PGA Tour stars should be grateful that the rivalry forced the status quo into positive change.

"I don't know if those changes would have happened if LIV wasn't in the picture. So to an extent, yeah, we should be thankful," he said in December. "I don't think it's a bad thing. I just hope the negative, let's say, feel that this whole thing has, right, the animosity goes away. I don't think there needs to be a lawsuit, I don't think each side needs to be saying anything negative about each other. If you want to try to coexist, coexist."

Fraser Watson

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