Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Jon Rahm changes stance: Cuts 'an important part of the game'

Field Level Media
31 May 2023, 08:55 GMT+10

Once a self-described "advocate" for no-cut events in the PGA Tour's designated events model, Jon Rahm of Spain said Tuesday he's been leaning the other way on the issue.

Ahead of the Memorial Tournament this week in Dublin, Ohio, the world No. 2 said he's gone back and forth on the issue of whether player-hosted legacy events like the Memorial and the Arnold Palmer Invitational should have a reduced field and no 36-hole cut.

PGA Tour events -- which normally have fields of 132, 144 or even 156 players -- typically have the top 65 players and ties after two rounds make the cut to play the weekend. Rahm mused about a hypothetical compromise where "maybe only 20 players" miss the cut.

"I think it's a part of it. You earn your way into the weekend and then you earn that win," Rahm said. "It's a part I enjoy and I experienced recently at the PGA (Championship). I mean, that Friday had a different feel when I was fighting to make the cut. It's a different type of pressure and you never know what playing good on a Friday to make the cut might ignite towards the weekend. ...

"It's a part of the history. If that went away, Tiger (Woods) making 140-something cuts in a row wouldn't have the same significance because that would never be broken again. So like I said, I pushed for the no-cut (rule) and then as time has gone by I actually, I think we should have a cut."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is planning to build on recent schedule changes, introduced in 2022-23 as a response to the threat from LIV Golf, by having the new "designated" or "elevated" events feature fields of 70 to 80 golfers and no 36-hole cut. This would ensure fans would see all of the best players on tour on the weekend no matter how they were playing, but it drew backlash from some players on tour who are not among the game's elite.

Tiger Woods said last month that he wants his annual event in Los Angeles, the Genesis Invitational, to keep its 36-hole cut, and added that Jack Nicklaus felt the same way about his tournament, the Memorial.

Nicklaus said Tuesday that he does not know what the 2024 schedule will look like and felt it would be fair to Monahan to "just keep my mouth shut."

The legendary golfer, now 83, said he sees positives for both a no-cut model and keeping a cut.

"I don't care either way," Nicklaus said. "... there's two sides to that coin and I think I'm going to leave that to people that are certainly a lot smarter than I am, which would be Jay and those guys."

--Field Level Media

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