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Jon Rahm has entered the week of his Masters defence calling for change. 

The Spaniard returns to Augusta National this week with men’s professional golf at an uncertain crossroads.

Last year in Georgia, Rahm saw off three LIV Golf rivals to win his first Green Jacket, but now he has become the most lucrative signing on the Saudi-backed breakaway league.

With the sport’s talent pool still divided a year on, Rahm’s prospects of competing with the biggest names on the PGA Tour have become limited. He continues to call for unity in the game, whilst stressing that “there’s room for both” rival circuits and that the product for fans can be “much better.”

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It’s apparent that Rahm feels one way to improve LIV’s own product would be to expand from 54 to 72 holes.

“If there ever was a way where LIV could go to 72 holes I think it would help all of this argument a lot,” Rahm told BBC Sport after a T4 finish at LIV’s Miami event.

“The closer I think we can get LIV Golf to some other things the better. I think it would be for some kind of unification to feed into a world tour or something like that.

“I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes.”

Rahm, of course, has been sceptical of LIV’s format before. Speaking well before his rumoured $450million defection in December, he claimed:  “Shotgun [start] with three days to me is not a golf tournament, no cut. It’s that simple.”

And in his press conference after joining, he hinted that he hopes LIV bosses would consider future format changes.

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“For all those things that I like about this movement [LIV], there’s always going to be some things that are not perfect, but that’s the situation,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the leaders of LIV Golf might listen to some of my advice and maybe see some changes in the future for the better of the game.”

Rahm’s opinion is not shared universally on the LIV circuit.

Talor Gooch, the upstart’s individual champion in 2023, said back in December that he was happy with the current arrangement.

“I think LIV Golf was meant to be something different; I think it’s not supposed to be a carbon copy of the rest of professional golf. I lean towards keeping it at 54 holes,” Gooch said. “Part of it too, from my experience on the PGA Tour, was Thursdays are just irrelevant from a fan perspective [except for] only a couple times a year.

“I think the majors absolutely should be four rounds, but I don’t necessarily think everything else should be four rounds, almost similar to tennis. We want to do everything we can to make the most entertaining product but [also] the product that’s going to reveal the best golfer.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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