Masters 2024: Jon Rahm hopes PGA Tour and LIV Golf players can 'coexist'

Jon Rahm of Spain poses with the Masters trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club
Rahm is the defending Masters champion following his victory at Augusta in 2023

Defending champion Jon Rahm says he is looking forward to facing the best players in the world when he attempts to retain his Masters crown at Augusta next month.

The Spaniard added that he hopes for a future when players from the PGA Tour and rival LIV Golf can "coexist".

Rahm is banned from PGA Tour events after defecting to LIV in December.

"I just want to see again the best in the world being able to compete against the best in the world," he said.

Talks between the PGA and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which funds LIV Golf, continued on Monday in an attempt to make further ground on a potential merger.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced plans for a shock merger with PIF in June but failed to reach an agreement by the initial deadline of of 31 December 2023.

Rahm, 29, will only be able to face his former PGA rivals at the four majors until a resolution is found.

"I'm definitely looking forward to joining with the rest of the best golfers in the world and teeing it up in the Masters with them," Rahm said.

"I'm assuming there will be quite a few that are not happy, but from my side nothing changes. I still respect everybody on both sides and respect the game of golf above all.

"I think there's a way of coexisting and if there's some type of union - I don't know what that looks like.

"If there is some type of peace achieved, I think it can actually push the game forward."

The Masters begins on 11 April and Rahm is attempting to become just the fourth player to retain the title, and the first since Tiger Woods achieved the feat in 2001-02.

Rahm won three PGA titles last season, and his move to LIV Golf has seen him pick up top-10 finishes in each of his four appearances in 2024.

"For everybody who said this would be easy, some things have been, but not being able to defend some titles that mean a lot to me hasn't," he said.

"I am looking forward to hopefully having a great week and a great Sunday back-nine showdown with some of those great players, because at the end of the day it's what golf and spectators deserve."