Can Jon Rahm defend his Masters title this year?

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Can Jon Rahm go back to back at the 2024 Masters Tournament?
Posted on
March 17, 2024
by
Andy Newmarch in , , ,
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Golf has always been an exciting sport to follow and one that throws up its fair share of drama on and off the course. This has certainly been the case recently and saw many of the sport’s top pros decide to join the LIV Golf circuit. As any keen golf fan will know, this caused a real split in the sport between players who did not support the breakaway LIV Golf Tour and those who did. It also became a talking point for golf fans for the same reasons.

One of the biggest names who decided to make the move to LIV Golf was Jon Rahm. The Spanish player ultimately made the decision to join the Saudi-based competition in December 2023, and quickly attracted a lot of criticism for his switch from the PGA Tour. This was largely down to multiple comments he had made previously to the media, which suggested he would never join LIV Golf. As a result of his switch, the PGA Tour decided to suspend Rahm indefinitely.

All of this leaves one massive question for golf fanatics – can Jon Rahm defend his Masters title in the coming year?

Beyond Seve's shadow Rahm's resolve
(Jae C. Hong/AP)

Will we see Rahm back to defend his Masters title in 2024?

Held annually, the Masters brings together the best players in world golf and always provides a real spectacle of sporting excellence. 2023’s edition was a real stunner and saw Jon Rahm clinch a thrilling four-stroke win over Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka. This was the Spanish golfer’s second Major win and saw him become one of the world’s most celebrated players.

The controversy over his recent LIV Golf switch, though, has left many wondering if he will be allowed back to defend his title at Augusta in April 2024. Although this would normally be nailed on, as he currently holds the title, things in modern golf right now are not as clear-cut as they once were.

The major stumbling block is his current suspension from all PGA Tour events. This means he would technically not be allowed to play at the Masters and not have a chance of notching back-to-back wins. If this suspension is not lifted in time, it means we will not be seeing him lighting up Augusta in April 2024.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm celebrates winning the 87th Masters (David J. Phillip/AP)

It is being widely reported across the majority of major platforms that Rahm should be able to overcome this issue and return to defend his title in 2024. According to golf odds at betUK it is still too early to point out another player who is favourite to win this year’s PGA Tournament. However, if the Spanish player is admitted into the tournament, he will pose a serious challenge to his opponents.

 

Will the PGA Tour lift Rahm’s suspension?

Although Jon Rahm's PGA suspension in December 2023 was for an indefinite period, recent signs look promising in terms of it being lifted in time for the Masters. This sees Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund currently in negotiations with the PGA Tour over a merger deal and the future of the sport.

Any successful deal would surely include the lifting of suspensions placed by the PGA on LIV Golf players, which would enable them to once again compete in PGA events. If this happens, Rahm would then have the green light to compete in April 2024 at Augusta as defending champion. All of this, though, rests not only on any deal actually happening but it being completed in the very near future.

Are they any other barriers to Jon Rahm defending his Masters title in 2024?

If his PGA Tour suspension is lifted and he is then eligible to play in the 2024 Masters in April, the only fly in the ointment could be Rahm himself refusing to take part. This would not be hard to imagine, if he was still feeling hurt by how the PGA have treated him and his fellow LIV Golf pros.

Recent comments by the Spaniard seem to quash these fears and show that he still wants to play at PGA events. For example, he has gone on record as being hopeful of playing in PGA events soon – and being very keen to do so. This would seem to suggest he would return to defend his Masters title if allowed and try to notch another famous win.

Masters 2024: Rahm is playing a waiting game

It is hard to say for sure whether Jon Rahm will be back to defend his Masters title in 2024. As this rests on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf reaching a deal that will lift his suspension from PGA events in time, the player and golf fans are playing a waiting game for now.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th green after wining the Masters (Jae C. Hong/AP)
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About Andy Newmarch

Being one of the original owners of the ‘Top 100 Golf Courses’ website enabled Andy to travel far and wide playing and rating courses, with the numbers somewhere around 1200 courses in 40 countries. Although now away from the day-to-day grind of course ranking, having a keen eye on course developments is still high on the agenda. Currently hanging on to a handicap index of 9.9 he is probably as competitive on the course than ever but more often than not will compliment this by relaxing at the 19th hole to make up for the hard work!

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