June 7, 2024

Jon Rahm’s present focus is on LIV Golf Houston, but a part of the Spaniard may be longing for the chance to defend his tournament title in the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament.


In July 2020, Rahm emerged victorious in the Memorial Tournament after finishing 9-under at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Since defecting to LIV Golf, however, the 29-year-old can no longer compete in the event – or any tournaments on the PGA Tour for that matter.


Back in March, Rahm conceded that he does miss the opportunity to defend several of the titles he’s won in the past. “For everybody who said this would be easy, some things have been, but not being able to defend some titles that mean a lot to me hasn’t,” Rahm said, per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.


One year after winning the Memorial Tournament, Rahm appeared to be well on his way to securing back-to-back wins in Dublin, Ohio. While leading the field by 6 strokes in the third round, however, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was subsequently forced to withdraw from the event.


“I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament. This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people,” he wrote in an official statement at the time.


It remains to be seen when, if ever, Rahm will be able to once again compete in the Memorial Tournament. Upon joining LIV last December, he was banned from competing on the PGA Tour. Thanks to his win at the 2023 Masters, however, Rahm’s been given a free pass to Augusta National, as well as five-year exemptions into the U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship.

Jon Rahm conceded he misses the opportunity to defend his PGA Tour titles

Jon Rahm conceded he misses the opportunity to defend his PGA Tour titles.

A strong 2023 campaign saw Rahm come away with wins at the PGA Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the American Express at Palm Springs, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera and the Masters in Augusta. Though Rahm was able to compete at the Masters, he was barred from the remaining three tournaments.



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“I love Palm Springs. I’ve been able to win twice there. Riviera is about as charismatic of a golf course as we have. Not being there was difficult,” Rahm said. “I still watch golf because I love watching it. But it’s hard. It was hard not to be at the Phoenix Open at the end of February and it was hard not to be at Hawaii.”


Regardless, Rahm appears to be enjoying life for the most part as a captain of Legion XIII on LIV Golf, which gave him a reported £450m ($566.4m) to join. Through the first seven tournaments of the season, he’s earned £4,025,303 ($5,095,321) – the eighth most in earnings among all players in the Saudi-backed league.


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