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U.S. Open 2022: Ol’ ball coach Hugh Freeze says he likes Jon Rahm’s response to the LIV Golf controversy (and his grit too)
On Tuesday in Brookline, defending U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm was asked, like just about every golfer before and after him was asked, about his feelings surrounding the LIV Golf controversy. The fiery Spaniard, known in part for his temper on the course, took a breath and then delivered one of the more thoughtful responses we've heard to golf’s ongoing schism. It’s worth noting as you listen that English is not Rahm’s first language, and yet he remains more accurate and articulate than 90% of the guys on tour who have been speaking it since "mama" and "dada."
Eschewing the gated-neighborhood hysteria of the PGA Tour apostles and the bulging dollar-sign eyes of the LIV Golf goons, Rahm simply explains why it’s not for him. He respects tradition—walking in the footsteps of legends at iconic courses four rounds at a time. He realizes that “$400 million” (JESUS HOW MUCH DID LIV OFFER HIM!?) won’t change his life. He understands some of the appeal LIV and counterpoints to the PGA Tour narrative, but it’s not for him. Simple as that. We’ve seen the likes of Thomas and Mcilroy respond thoughtfully to the situation, but Rahm’s comments were perhaps the most honest (and earnest) yet.
In fact, he seemed to hit the nail on the head so squarely that it caught the attention of an ol’ ball coach by the name of Hugh Freeze, who took to Twitter to applaud Rahm on Tuesday night in the one the week’s most pleasant cross-sport collisions.
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First of all, OF COURSE he had to compliment Rahm’s grit. He’s a college football coach. It’s like a reflex. He can't NOT. And coming from a guy who has famously coached from a hospital bed and dentist’s chair, that means a lot. Second of all, and perhaps most interesting, is that Freeze—a guy who was fired from Ole Miss for using his school-issued phone to call escort services at least 12 separate times while on recruiting trips between 2014 and 2017—isn't fully on board with DJ and Phil’s seedy circus. Instead he’s applauding a family man who just said he values tradition over fame and money. Talk about an upset, and lord knows Liberty could use a few of those this season.