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It’s been far from a stellar year for Jon Rahm.

In fact, the LIV Golf star can’t give himself more than a seven out of ten for what has been a largely forgettable campaign.

Rahm, 29, is without a win on the Saudi-backed circuit since making the switch in December, missed the cut at the Masters and was forced to withdraw from the US Open through injury.

Golf Channel’s Eamon Lynch labelled him a ‘competitive irrelevance’ in golf’s ‘big four’ last week, as he took aim at the Spaniard’s chances of lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Troon.

But Rahm has hit back at critics and defended LIV Golf’s format after he was asked whether it was a factor in his winless slump.

Speaking to reporters from his native Spain, where LIV Golf Andalucia tees off on Friday, he put to bed any concerns about playing 54 holes.

“No,” was Rahm’s unhesitant answer when asked if something in the format is less competitive than his days on the PGA and DP World Tours.

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So, what is missing?

“It’s not easy to win golf tournaments,” he said. “I’ve been close. I just haven’t gotten it done.”

Despite not picking up one of LIV’s $4 million payouts, the Legion XIII captain is yet to finish outside the top-ten, with five of those starts resulting in top-five efforts.

And that’s made it difficult to properly assess the state of his season.

“There’s been weeks where I feel like I scored a lot better than I felt, and there’s been a couple weeks where it could have been better,” Rahm added. “Haven’t won yet so that would deduct quite a bit from it.

“I would say maybe 6 to a 7 out of 10 if I had to say. But the year is not over. Still a lot to play for.

“It would not be unheard of to see a player finish strong and change that to maybe a 9 out of 10. So far just because I haven’t won, I can’t give it more than a 7.”

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Rahm would love nothing more than to end his drought with a win at Valderrama this week, at a place which he admits helped convince him about joining LIV.

“One of the very exciting things about joining LIV was coming here and playing in front of a Spanish crowd, especially on a level of event and level of competition that I had not really yet enjoyed.

“I’ve been able to play events in Spain, but you didn’t have a world-class stage. It wasn’t the same level of accomplishments that we have in LIV Golf.

“To come back and be a part of this is quite emotional. If there was ever a place to get my first win, anything like that this would be the perfect week.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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