“Been Playing Resort Courses’: Nick Faldo Ignores Jon Rahm’s LIV Triumph & Darts Brutal Masters Reality Check

Published 04/08/2024, 3:00 PM EDT

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Who knew that Jon Rahm would switch sides, but he did! And ever since, he has been on a good run on LIV Golf. He has had brilliant finishes such as T3 in Mayakoba, T8 in Hong Kong, and T4 in Miami. Spaniard’s fans might be impressed with the finishes, but he failed to impress Sir Nick Faldo.

The defending champion in the upcoming Masters now has this opportunity to join the squad with Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods, who were the only three players to defend their titles at the Masters successfully. But according to Faldo, this might be tough for Rahm! Why? Well, because he has not been competing at the best of the courses.

“He’s a hell of a player,” says Faldo about Jon Rahm


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In a conversation with Sky Sports Golf, Faldo expressed his thoughts about the former world No. 1’s recent performances. Faldo explained how the defending champion needs to do more for the first major of the year. The interview has been shared on social media account X by NUCLR Golf.

When asked what he thought of Rahm as a defending champion in the upcoming Masters after his defection to LIV Golf, shaking his head in a non-affirmative manner, Faldo said the lack of 72-hole preparation will impact Rahm’s performance at the Augusta showdown. Further, he added Rahm is not sharp enough with his current preparations to cope with the heavy demands of a challenging course such as Augusta because “he has been playing resort courses.” 


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Along with criticism, the Englishman also mentioned that Rahm is “a hell of a player,” and he has what it takes to defend his honor in Georgia, but at the moment he is lacking in terms of intensity.  The 66-year-old said that the Spaniard has not been tested enough in the last few months. If the LIV golfer is looking forward to a victory, “he has to step up.”

Sir Nick Faldo himself comes with a rich experience of the sport and has triumphed three times in the Masters, wherein he defended his title in 1990. To defend the title at Augusta, one needs to be prepared! Keeping that in mind and his own expertise in the field, Faldo’s point seems to be valid. But to say that the 54-hole format might have downgraded Rahm’s skills is not in his best interest, as with their T2 finishes last year at Augusta, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson proved that LIV has not impacted their game as everyone had supposed.

The field is definitely a strong one at Augusta this year, with many seasoned and rookie golfers looking forward to winning the honorable green jacket. In such a field, what are the chances that Rahm could even defend his title?

Jon Rahm’s tough rivals at Augusta National

Undoubtedly, Rahm has established himself among the best golfers in the world; however, a lot has changed since he moved to LIV Golf. In Masters this year, Rahm will face tough competition to earn the green jacket. He has to face the world’s No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who is in his best form now. Scheffler has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and created history with his title defense at THE PLAYERS. He has worked tremendously on his putting, and it is definitely showing! Also, there will be Rory McIlroy, who will fight to complete his career grand slam this year and break away from his decade-old major drought.


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Then there will be a Masters veteran, Tiger Woods, who will be looking forward to becoming the oldest Masters winner, and then Phil Mickelson too, vying for the same record. Rookies such as Wyndham Clark, Ludvig Aberg, Eric Cole, Jake Knapp, Akshay Bhatia, and Nick Dunlap would also be bringing on fierce competition in the field.

Certainly, Rahm has to upgrade his skills even more to repeat the history of the Masters and swing with more perfection.


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With his golf wisdom, Sir Nick Faldo pointed out the possibilities for improvements for Rahm, but will the LIV golfer take action on them? It has yet to be seen!



Written by:

Nikki Sharma


One take at a time

Nikki Sharma is a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. With six years of journalistic experience, she has mastered the art of covering niches. An avid LPGA follower herself, Nikki has a knack for all things female in golf.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal