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A former PGA Tour winner has blasted Jon Rahm following comments made by the Spaniard ahead of this week’s PGA Championship.

Speaking to the media at Valhalla Golf Club on Tuesday – where he can complete the third leg of the career grand slam with a victory – Rahm revealed that he still considers himself as a PGA Tour member, despite joining LIV Golf for a reported $450m in December.

“You guys keep saying ‘the other side,’ but I’m still a PGA Tour member, whether I’m suspended or not,” said two-time major champ Rahm. “I still want to support the PGA Tour. And I think that’s an important distinction to make.

“I don’t feel like I’m on the other side. I’m just not playing there. That’s at least personally.”

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Those comments were picked up by the Golf Channel’s ‘Live From’ team, with Arron Oberholser particularly angry at them.

Or, to use his word, ‘incensed’.

Oberholser, 49, played 134 times on the PGA Tour between 1999 and 2013, winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2006.

The 49-year-old American didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of Rahm’s claims.

“He doesn’t get it,” said Oberholser. “To this day, he doesn’t get it. This is a guy who wanted a position, or wanted to be heard, from what I understand, either a board position, policy board.

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“He wanted to be heard on this whole thing before he went to LIV. And I feel like he wasn’t as heard as much as he probably should have been. And now, I’m glad he wasn’t in that position, because he doesn’t get it.

“As a PGA Tour player and as a PGA Tour member, still a card-carrying PGA Tour member and someone who supports the PGA Tour not happy with what’s going on right now obviously, I’m incensed by the level of naivety, that you don’t get it, you still don’t get it.

“You took 500 large and then you’re going to sit there and tell me, oh, you still feel like a PGA Tour member, I want to support the PGA Tour.

“I mean, I wanted to wring his neck through the television. I’m that mad right now. I’m that mad. And every player [on the PGA Tour] in that locker room, if they watched that, should be absolutely incensed with him.”

Meanwhile, Golf Channel’s Eamon Lynch joined the onslaught, citing Rahm as a “stooge to the Saudis”.

“It’s not often you hear the arsonists give advice to the firefighters on how to extinguish the blaze and start asking when can he move back into the house,” Lynch said on air.

“If he [Rahm] wanted to support the PGA Tour and present himself as a loyal member as he does, well then don’t be a stooge to the Saudis.

“Don’t sign up to be a willing leverage point as they attempt to upend of diminish the product that you’re claiming loyalty to.”

• For a complete PGA Championship preview, tune-in to the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast. Available now wherever you get your podcasts.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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