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Jon Rahm says DP World Tour ‘turned their backs’ on Sergio Garcia in revealing interview

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After one of the most enthralling finishes to a major in several years, there have been continual rumbles surrounding the future names joining the LIV Golf Series.

As if they can’t keep it out of the news, journalists continue to leap on any rumor that has the merest hint of a newcomer to the rebel ranks, one even suggesting that the newly crowned Open champion will jump ship.

Truth or fantasy, there looks to be no stopping the conversation, and after Graeme McDowell’s ‘wind-up’ tweet Jon Rahm has joined in with a view on the ever-increasing distance between the PGA and DP World tours and the Saudi-backed series.

Referencing the unpleasant rhetoric between Sergio Garcia and the two organizations, the 2021 US Open winner has called for a reconciliation between the parties, with particular reference to the ‘home’ tour and the upcoming Ryder Cup.

With Henrik Stenson strongly rumored to be off to the Greg Norman-led series and therefore surrendering his captaincy, Rahm is upset and concerned that his compatriot may not permitted to play their home events on consecutive weeks in October — the Spanish Open and the Andalucía Masters in revered Valderrama.

Even more concerning to the World No. 3 is that Garcia “can’t play the Ryder Cup.”

The DP World Tour has so far issued fines to all the LIV players but faced a legal backlash two weeks ago when Ryder Cup hero, Ian Poulter, won a legal challenge against the suspension from the Scottish Open, subsequently missing the cut but returning this week at St. Andrews after the R&A honored the entry of all players that had qualified, whatever their chosen path.

Having finished tied-34th at St. Andrews yesterday, SI.com report Rahm spoke to Spanish reporters about the split between the two sides.

In a translated piece, Rahm comments that, “Hopefully a simple solution is found,” before speaking of the positive effects a mixed event can bring.

“Weeks like the JP McManus Pro-Am (in Ireland two weeks ago), which tell you how beautiful this sport is and how much it can do, the amount of good it can do in the world … it’s such a beautiful sport that it is a pity there are certain fights between the DP World Tour, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.”

In sympathy with the plight, Rahm acknowledges, “I understand the reasons why golfers who play LIV Golf do it and it’s a shame they have to relinquish their status on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.”

As for his good friend and fellow Spaniard, Rahm is at pains to point out the frustration felt by both parties.

“Sergio knows very well that he has dedicated his life to the European Tour in his 25 years as a pro,” Rahm said. “That they turn their backs on him that way doesn’t seem right to me. And it is what it is. It is not my decision and that he has to make this decision. It hurts me.”

“It’s a shame also because I know he wanted to play in Spain. And he won’t be able to play either the Spanish Open or at Valderrama. And it bothers me even more that he can’t play the Ryder Cup.”

With the Open now out of the way, European golf looks towards the 2023 challenge in Rome, but Rahm clearly believes that some vital players will miss out, an upsetting outcome of the current row.

“The event that gives golf the most publicity around the world is the Ryder Cup,” Rahm said. “Because of this nonsense there are players like (Garcia) who can’t play the Ryder Cup. That already makes me a little more angry. It is something that creates this sport. It is the reason that my family and I started playing golf and the reason that many in this world play golf.”

As for Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion is clearly not feeling the love of the various organizations.

He’s off to play the third of the LIV events in New Jersey in a couple of weeks time but played the 150th Open, where just one round under par led to a finish of tied-68th.

Given his four previous Opens around St. Andrews have converted to finishes of 5th, 6th, 14th and 36th, did he enjoy this week as much as he had the others?

“Not very much,” Garcia admitted. “I enjoyed the crowd, but that’s about it.”

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19th Hole

Report: Greg Norman spotted following a surprise grouping on Thursday at the Masters

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Greg Norman is at this week’s Masters tournament but found himself in a situation where he had to buy himself a ticket to enter the grounds.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Norman explained why he was at Augusta National:

“I’m here because we have 13 players that won 10 Masters between them. So I’m here just to support them, do the best I can to show them, ‘Hey, you know, the boss is here rooting for you.’ ”

So who was Norman following during the opening round of this year’s Masters? Well the answer may surprise you.

Per Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig, Norman was spotted following the LIV-less grouping of Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele.

We’ll find out a little later today whether Norman will make his third appearance in as many days at this year’s opening major.

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Collin Morikawa makes surprising late putter switch at Masters

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Collin Morikawa has had plenty of success with a blade in his hands over the course of his young career, but after a lean spell on the greens lately, it appears that the 27-year-old is ready to try something new.

The California-native began the year with his TaylorMade TP Soto before switching to a Logan Olson proto last month. Now at this week’s Masters, Morikawa has been spotted with a Spider Tour X, the same flatstick that Scottie Scheffler will be using at Augusta.

The move would represent a big change, but it has been a very frustrating year on the greens for Morikawa, who will hope the TaylorMade mallet can offer him a similar upturn in fortune to that of Scheffler. In 2024, Morikawa ranks 164th for Strokes Gained: Putting, and 157th for Total Putting.

We’ll keep an eye whether Morikawa puts the mallet into action on day one of the Masters.

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Dave Portnoy places monstrous outright bet for the 2024 Masters

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Fresh off of winning $2.76 million on UConn’s victory over Purdue on Monday night, Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portnoy has just placed a massive bet for this year’s Masters.

Tweeting on Wednesday morning, Portnoy revealed that he has placed $300,000 on Scottie Scheffler to win this year’s Masters at odds of +450.

Should he win, that’d be a total payout of $1.65 million.

Scheffler is one of the shortest priced favorites of recent times at the Masters, and is looking for what would be his third win in his last four events.

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