Jon Rahm: 'It Does Bug Me' LIV Golfers Are Participating in BMW PGA Championship

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 6, 2022

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Jon Rahm of Spain talks to the media during a press conference prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club on September 06, 2022 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

The BMW PGA Championship will feature 18 players who have competed for the LIV Golf tour, an inclusion that bothers Spanish golfer Jon Rahm.

Rahm explained his thoughts to reporters Tuesday:

"It does bug me that somebody who has played 20 DP World events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event because some people that earned it, to an extent, are being given an opportunity when they couldn't care any less about the event. They don't know. They don't care. They don't know the history of this event. They are only here because they are trying to get world-ranking points and trying to finish in the top 50 [to get into the majors], and that's clear as day."
"I'm not going to name any anybody, but there are some of them that have never shown any interest. Like I said they are here for a different motive than supporting the [DP World Tour]."

The BMW PGA Championship, which is scheduled to begin Thursday at Wentworth Club in England, is a flagship event for the European DP World Tour.

Rahm was especially upset that friend and compatriot Alfredo Garcia-Heredia did not qualify for the event despite playing 20 events on the DP World Tour this year. He is currently No. 134 in the tour rankings, 14 spots short of retaining his membership for next year.

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia will take part in the event despite mostly only getting points from majors this year. His only European events in 2022 were the Open Championship and June's BMW International Open in Germany.

Garcia had initially planned to quit the DP World Tour because he was "not feeling loved," although he later changed his mind.

Though Rahm didn't mention any competitors by name, Billy Horschel was more targeted in his complaints Tuesday.

"Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak, you've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here?" Horschel asked. "You are here for one reason only and that’s to try to get World Ranking points because you don’t have them [in LIV Golf]."

Horschel won this event last year, becoming the first American to win since Arnold Palmer in 1975.

With PGA Tour banning players who join LIV Golf, the DP World Tour provides the best chance for those involved to gain points toward their world rankings. Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are also among the LIV Golf competitors set to compete Thursday.