Jon Rahm Shuts Down Replacing Rory McIlroy on PGA Tour Board, Explains Backing out of Inaugural TGL Season

The former world No. 1 has no interest in long meetings or virtual golf

The most valuable asset is time, and Jon Rahm has no plans to spend his on any extracurricular activities that may take away from his golf game. Addressing the media ahead of the 2023 DP World Tour Championship, the former world No. 1 shut down the idea of replacing Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour policy board and also provided an explanation regarding his departure from TGL after originally committing to the virtual golf league started by McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

“That’s hard to say,” Rahm responded when asked if McIlroy’s time on the board could have had an adverse effect on his game. “It is a significant commitment, so it could have an effect. It’s not only the meetings. It’s the phone calls and the players wanting to talk to you. So even the hours you spend on the course are a little bit busier. 

“So, yes, it could hinder a little bit. There’s probably a reason why I can’t recall any great player being a full-time board member and winning tournaments and majors at the same time, at least in recent history. I can see how the lack of sleep will definitely limit your ability to compete.”

McIlroy’s role as a player director covered everything from the initial division in professional golf between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to the June 6 framework agreement announcement to the current negotiations. The PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund continue their discussions to house commercial operations under a new for-profit entity dubbed PGA Tour Enterprises. Additional suitors have joined the conversation as a Dec. 31 deadline, which many expect to be pushed back, approaches.

To McIlroy’s credit, these last two seasons have been the best of his career from a statistical perspective. The laugh-out-loud strokes gained numbers translating to four major top 10s and a third FedEx Cup title in 2022, as well as three worldwide victories and his fifth Race to Dubai crown in 2023. Despite McIlroy’s success, the two-time major champion has no interest in serving as his replacement.

“Oh, you won’t see me there,” Rahm continued. “Absolutely no chance. I’ve been asked a couple of times if I have any interest. But I’m not going to spend … I don’t know how many meetings they have, but they are six, seven, hours long. I’m not here for that. As regards to Rory, he’s obviously been put in a situation where a lot has been expected of him, and I don’t know the exact reason why he left the board. But I certainly wouldn’t blame him for wanting to focus a bit more on his game and his family and enjoy the bit of time. He’s truly earned that.”

Rahm not only has no interest in joining his PGA Tour colleagues in the meeting room but also in TGL. Backing out of the new league that features six teams and a 15-match regular season schedule, Rahm admits he may have overextended himself when telling McIlroy and Woods he would be joining their new venture.

“It’s just a time commitment,” Rahm said. “I can’t really commit to it right now. It would mean quite a bit of extra hours of flight and quite a bit of extra time away from home. And at the same time, having just redone a lot of my deals, I’ve got to think of my sponsors as well. So it would have been a bit more of a commitment than I expected at first. That’s basically it.”

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