Jon Rahm not affected by LIV Golf news, FedEx Cup playoff status

Jon Rahm can’t understand why he played so well in the BMW Championship. Despite four top-10 finishes in five starts, including a win in 2020, he won’t talk about his history at the third-longest-running tournament on the PGA Tour schedule.

“I had no idea,” Rahm said of his stellar record. “Sometimes I don’t want to know these things. I don’t want to think about it.

The 27-year-old isn’t sure if it’s playoff pressure or the type of golf course hosting the penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event that brings out his best game. What he knows is that no matter what, he’s playing for the win and his position in the race for the season won’t matter.

My goal is to finish as high as possible in the standings. I play to win; and if not, I will try to finish second; and if not, third; etc 30 is better than 31. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it? Rahm explained. “My state of mind doesn’t really change. I know the consequences could be bigger if you move on to next week whether you miss a shot or not, but you can’t keep thinking, ‘If I don’t birdie, I’ll be 17th. next week.’

“When you do that, it’s a consequence of what you do on the golf course, and I just choose to focus on what I have to do right now.”

That attitude is what propelled the former world No. 1 – as an amateur and professional – to seven victories on the PGA and DP World Tours, as well as his first major championship at the 2021 US Open.

This season on the tour, Rahm has missed just one cut – his first Fortinet Championship start last September – and has earned seven top-10 finishes in 17 starts, including a victory at the Mexican Open, a Sentry Tournament of Champions finalist and a T-3 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

His unrivaled confidence and growing status in the game make Rahm a prime target for the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but don’t expect the Spaniard to jump ship anytime soon. After all, he wasn’t even aware of the court hearing last week that denied LIV players Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford access to the first playoff event.

“Well, I can tell you that I didn’t pay any attention to it. I only found out it was happening because I passed by a players’ restaurant and saw about ten people really nervous pacing around the room and I thought, ‘Well, something’s going on,” Rahm said. “I asked and heard what was going on. I was in the room when the judge gave her decision, but only because I was passing by and they told me it was time. So I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to stay.’

“They chose to leave the PGA Tour, they chose to go join another tour knowing the consequences; and then try to come back and get, you know, the courts and justice in the way that I would say wouldn’t have been very good with me.

“It’s not the last thing we’re going to hear from them, but I don’t know. I just started watching the show Combinationsso I kind of learn now what happens in a courtroom,” he said with a laugh.

LIV Golf has poached some of the Tour’s top talent, including three of the top seven players in last year’s BMW Championship standings. Rahm considers this loss as addition by subtraction.

“One of the great things about the PGA Tour is the depth of field,” Rahm said, singling out rising stars like last week’s winner Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young. “So there is always a hungrier future star out there who is ready to work and get noticed. The lack of talent on the PGA Tour and in the world of golf is not a problem.

Michael C. Ford