LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf last year has been portrayed as a turning point in the “us vs. them” narrative that has overrun this sport over the past 24 months.

Rahm insists he never fully bought into that.

“You guys keep saying ‘the other side,’” Rahm said Tuesday as he prepared for the PGA Championship at Valhalla. “But I’m still a PGA Tour member, whether suspended or not. I still want to support the PGA Tour, and I think that’s an important distinction to make.”

The Spaniard startled golf when he left for LIV in December — a move that brought with it his suspension from the PGA Tour.

Not only was it a blow to the quality of the tour — Rahm is a two-time major winner who has been ranked No. 1 — it also felt like a low blow to some, considering Rahm had been one of the most high-profile supporters of the tour when the schism first erupted.

Rahm insisted it was his choice to make and sometimes people change. His move came about six months after the tour and the owners of LIV announced they were in negotiations to reunite golf.

Some saw Rahm’s departure for LIV as a sure sign of new-found leverage for the Saudi-backed league in the negotiations. Now that those negotiations have dragged on for nearly a year, some key players — most notably, Rory McIlroy — have softened the “us vs. them” narrative.

Rahm made clear he never believed in it to start.

“I don’t feel like I’m on the other side. I’m just not playing there,” he said.

Rahm is one of 16 LIV players in the field this week at the PGA — the second of the year’s four majors, which now mark the only times the best players all converge for the same tournament.

This month’s headlines have been filled with news of McIlroy being added to the PGA Tour’s negotiating team, along with the resignation of a key power broker, Jimmy Dunne, from that team. All this speaks to the overarching issue — as they head into Year 2 at the bargaining table, no deal has been struck.

None of which makes Rahm happy, even if he personally has nothing to worry about. Reports had him banking some $500 million for taking his talents to LIV.

Still, he said he’d like to see the negotiations press on.

“Because everybody is going to have a different idea, and I think everybody’s going to have to give something back or have some compromises to make that work,” he said.

Despite Rahm’s move, the DP Tour, which runs pro golf in Europe, recently made clear that he and others on LIV would be eligible to play in next year’s Ryder Cup, as long as they pay fines, serve bans and play at least four events a year. Rahm says he intends to do all that, working his schedule around his wife’s due date later this year.

The Ryder Cup news is a glimmer of hope for the reconciliation of the golf tours. Rahm knows the bigger picture will be more difficult, but he feels it’s worth the work.

“I think we have a position to set up golf in a very positive way for decades to come,” he said. “You need the people that do this for a living that are far smarter than I am to come together to be able to make it work.”

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf