Jon Rahm is a Ryder Cup veteran for Team Europe and remains a DP World Tour this year but must play four events to keep his card and be eligible for Bethpage in 2025
Jose Maria Olazabal does not believe Team Europe should change its eligibility rules to accommodate Jon Rahm.
Rahm, 29, helped Europe reclaim the Ryder Cup in Rome last year and is a veteran of three teams after also partaking in the 2018 and 2021 editions. But after moving to LIV Golf mere months later, his eligibility for next year’s competition at Bethpage is in doubt.
Brooks Koepka was the only player from the league to participate in 2023 as a captain’s pick for the US by Zach Johnson. Notably, no LIV golfers from Europe featured, but two of the 12-man team – Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton – have signed for the series in the months since winning the win.
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Olazabal is adamant that their decision to leave the PGA Tour must carry consequences. “I respect everyone who has gone to LIV Golf,” he told the Spanish-language Golf sin Etiquetas podcast.
“But what bothers me is that if you make a decision, it must have consequences. You can’t expect to have the same rights as PGA Tour and DP World Tour players.
“As for changing the rules for Ryder Cup Europe… I don’t know what to tell you. If you miss players like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, you could be left naked (short) for one or two Ryder Cups. And? What if you suddenly get three (players like) Ludvig Aberg? Or the Hojgaard twins (Nicolai and Rasmus)?
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“Then it turns out we might be able to compete.” Aberg and Hojgaard went to Rome as Ryder Cup rookies as in-form captain’s picks by Luke Donald. Rasmus already has four wins on the DP World Tour, with three of the victories coming in playoffs, at only 22 years old.
While that trio may make their way onto Team Europe next year, Rory McIlroy is adamant that Rahm should be there regardless. “Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025,” he told Sky Sports after Rahm made the move.
“Because of this decision, the European Tour will have to rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility. Absolutely. There’s no question about that. I certainly want Jon on the next Ryder Cup team.”
Rahm has not been quite so bullish about wanting the rules to change. Instead, the Masters champion believes he can still become eligible by fulfilling his Tour quota by playing at least four events.
“With the DP World Tour, we’ve seen examples of people playing events – that’s definitely a possibility,” Rahm said last week in Las Vegas. “If allowed, I would love to play the Spanish Open – and if I qualify, I’d still love to go play in Dubai, in the DP World Tour Championship.”
During the tournament on the outskirts of Sin City, signs of Rahm regretting his decision arose after feeling compelled to tell the crowd to “make sure your phones are on silent.”