Jon Rahm laments the end of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, with the tournament to end after this week’s edition; watch live on Sky Sports Golf from 2.15pm on Wednesday; Rahm has say on golf’s proposed rule changes; Rickie Fowler looking to qualify for The Masters
Last Updated: 22/03/23 12:06am
World No 2 Jon Rahm hopes a match play event remains on the PGA Tour calendar, with the Spaniard saying the competition makes golf “much more relatable to every other sport”.
This week’s 64-man WCG-Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas – at which Rahm has been grouped with Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel and Keith Mitchell – is the last before the tournament is scrapped.
Players compete one-on-one in a round-robin format for the first three days with the winners of the 16 groups qualifying for the knockout stages over the weekend, culminating in the final on Sunday afternoon.
Rahm said: “I’m excited. I love match play. It’s too bad that this is the last edition of this tournament. I’m hoping maybe it’s just a one-year deal and we get a match play event back on the schedule.
“It’s really the only time throughout the year besides maybe the Ryder Cup where you’re playing truly against the person in front of you.
“That is much more relatable to every sport we play in the world, which is basically about just playing better than the team in front.
Rahm: I don’t know what the solution is
“I’m sure there’s a solution to it. I’m sure there’s a way around it, because I think we should have a match play event every single season.
I love matchplay. I like the simplicity of it. All you have to do is just go out there and try and beat the guy that’s in front of you and if you don’t, you lose, and if you beat him, you win.
World No 1 Scottie Scheffler
“I just don’t know what that solution is to make it entertaining enough throughout the entire Sunday or the weekend in general.
“[For players] a lot of times you can lose your first two matches playing good golf, you have no way of qualifying and you still have to show up Friday and play otherwise it might affect the group.
“There’s so many reasons why somebody might not like it. I just enjoy match play. Win or lose, it’s a different way of doing things, and I think it’s really fun.”
Rahm on golf’s proposed rule changes: Why change what’s working?
Rahm was also asked about last week’s proposed rule changes by the R&A and United States Golf Association, which could restrict how far the golf ball travels.
He said: “They’re hyper-focused on making professional golf a little bit more difficult than it already is. I don’t know why.
“There’s plenty of things you can do to make it more difficult for us – golf-course design, course set-up, all these great things.
“We’re in a golden era of golf where it’s exploded since Covid, a lot of people are watching, you have a completely different tour, all these things are happening for the game and it’s growing. Why change what’s working?
“I think there’s other things that can be done than changing the technology of the game to make it more challenging for us.
“That would be my suggestion to them. You can neglect a lot of nowadays’ distance with different golf course design.”
Fowler looking to earn spot at The Masters
Rahm’s group-stage opponent Fowler needs to reach the quarter-finals of the Match Play to climb back inside the world’s top 50 and qualify for The Masters at August National in April.
Fowler, currently 59th in the rankings, tumbled to as low as world No 160 before rediscovering his form with the 34-year-old finishing tied for 13th at The Players earlier this month.
The Californian said: “My short-term goal is to obviously get myself back in Augusta. If that doesn’t happen, we’re going to continue to move forward and be in a good position
“I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. I wish it was shorter, but at the same time, everyone goes through ups and downs and it’s a bit more about what you learn and how you come back from them.
“It’s definitely been a lot better being able to kind of build some momentum and ultimately build some confidence.
“The last few weeks I really haven’t felt that great with the swing but I’m doing a lot better at being able to salvage what’s maybe a poor round or a poor week and kind of turning those into better than where they have been, whether they’re a missed cut or finishing in the back of the pack.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to where I’m feeling better with the swing, looking forward to when things are feeling really good.”
Watch the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play live on Sky Sports between Wednesday and Sunday. Coverage of day one begins on Sky Sports Golf from 2.15pm on Wednesday.
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