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Other SportsThe Masters 2024: Rahm insists competitive edge not reduced after LIV switch

The Masters 2024: Rahm insists competitive edge not reduced after LIV switch

Jon Rahm dismissed any notion of him being undercooked as he prepares to defend his Masters title this week at Augusta.

Having previously been a vocal critic of LIV Golf, the Spaniard made the shock decision to join the Saudi-backed tour in December last year in a deal worth a reported $300m.

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He has played five LIV events this year, failing to win any, with each of them featuring a 54-hole format.

It has led to claims he may be short of top-level competition coming into the season’s first major but Rahm believes playing less may enhance his chances this weekend.

He said: “If anything, if I had to go based on how I feel today, on a Tuesday, I feel physically better than I did last year.

“But then once competition starts, it doesn’t really matter. Once the gun goes off, whatever you feel is out the window. You’ve got to go out there and post a score.

“It wouldn’t be the first time we hear somebody not feeling their best and winning. The first one that comes to mind is Ben Crenshaw after he lost his swing coach and to come back after being at the funeral and win it.

“So it’s not something that I have in mind [fewer competitive rounds], but I do feel fresh and ready for it.”

With so many of the game’s top players now with LIV, Rahm doesn’t feel his competitive edge has been dulled by leaving the PGA Tour.

He added: “The competition’s still there.

“Yeah, they’re smaller fields but you still have to beat some of the best players in the world and you still have to play at the same level you have to play on the PGA Tour to win those events.

“I understand there’s less people. I understand the team format’s a little different. I understand we’re going shotgun and things are a little bit different to how they are in a PGA Tour event.

“But the pressure’s there. I want to win as bad as I wanted to win before I moved on to LIV. Going down the stretch when you’re in contention is the exact same feelings. That really doesn’t change.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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