Ryder Cup group chat reaction when Jon Rahm sent LIV Golf message sums PGA Tour stars up

The Ryder Cup was won back by Europe last year thanks to the performances of Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, but to the surprise of their teammates, they both defected to LIV Golf a few months later.

Jon Rahm told his teammates he was leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, and Shane Lowry has revealed what transpired in the European Ryder Cup group chat.

At the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome in October, Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton were instrumental in Europe’s victory over the United States; however, in a matter of months, they had abandoned the PGA Tour in favor of mega-money contracts with LIV Golf.

The world number 17 Hatton joined on the eve of the new LIV season earlier this month, following reigning Masters champion Rahm, who joined in December on a contract reportedly worth in excess of £400 million. Due to the requirement that European players be active participants in the DP World Tour in order to be included when Luke Donald’s team defends their title at Bethpage Black in New York next year, the two have jeopardized their Ryder Cup prospects.

Before making their moves official, Lowry revealed that Rahm and Hatton told their Ryder Cup teammates in Rome about their decision to join LIV Golf. The Irishman also provided an insight into the players’ reactions to the news.

At the time, there were a lot of rumors, so we were all discussing them privately when Jon sent out a group message informing us. “Whatever,” some guys thought,” Lowry said to Fore Play. “I told you to do whatever you want. Simply put, avoid going there and acting rudely during the tours, as some people did. Proceed there with grace and fulfill your obligations.

“Tyrrell was identical. It’s a little strange that you won’t be able to play a tournament with Jon and Tyrrell until the Masters, and it was disappointing to see them go.

“Going forward, gentlemen, and please refrain from telling everyone how awful the PGA Tour and the European Tour are—because they aren’t—as the golf world is going through a strange period. Even now, these tours remain excellent, and we thrive outside of professional golf. Although I wish they would stay, things are as they are.”

In his remarks, Lowry poked fun at a number of LIV players, with a number of them making a final jab at the PGA Tour before they left. Some players on the PGA Tour harbored strong animosity toward LIV after Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia joined the circuit based in the United States.

But it was evident that the 2023 European Ryder Cup team was a close-knit unit. Even though they weren’t overjoyed to see two players depart for LIV Golf, the fact that Lowry and company respected their choices summed up the close relationships they developed.

The remarks made by the 2019 Open champion reflect how quickly the world of elite golf is evolving. Most players are eager for the authorities to find a peaceful way to bring the game back together, and hostility between the LIV and PGA Tour factions has decreased.

Now, the story is about whether LIV players, should an agreement between the rival tours be sealed, will face consequences when they return to the PGA Tour. Once the most ardent defender on the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy has drastically shifted his position, stating that he would not object to LIV players being invited back for specific events.

However, some players—like Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas—do not agree, saying that LIV players ought to pay a price for their misdeeds in order to play on the PGA Tour once more.

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