Masters champion Jon Rahm has joined LIV Golf in a deal reportedly worth up to £450 million…
Jon Rahm has stunningly signed with LIV Golf.
Multiple reports suggested the Masters champion had joined the Saudi-funded league, giving it three of the last five major winners.
Rahm then appeared in a television interview on Fox News on Thursday night which confirmed the controversial switch.
The Spaniard maintained he doesn’t play golf for money having accepted what he described as “a great offer” and what’s been rumoured as up to £450 million.
“It’s something that is very, very fun to play for something more than just yourself, and simply the growth that LIV Golf has brought to the game of golf,” he said.
“It’s something fresh and something new with a ton of potential and opportunity. It’s something I’m really excited about.
“The money is great. It’s wonderful, but what I’ve said before is true. I do not play golf for the money. I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf, but as a husband and as a father and family man, I have a duty to my family to give them the best opportunities and the most amount of resources possible.
“Obviously, it is a factor and it was an important one in this decision, but there are many other things as I mentioned earlier that make it so exciting.
I am proud to join @livgolf_league and be part of something new that is bringing growth to the sport. I have no doubt that this is a great opportunity for me and my family and am very excited for the future. pic.twitter.com/myf4isJgJ3— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) December 7, 2023
“I found a great platform on the PGA Tour, ” he added. “And I’m forever grateful for the platform they’ve given me. If lucky and things go well in the future, I still want to be a part of that platform.
“LIV Golf gives me the freedom to play golf when it doesn’t conflict with the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour and I certainly want to be part of that in the future.
“I know captains have a say (in the format) and I know they listen to the players as part of the organisation, I’m looking forward to having some conversations and giving my opinion and maybe seeing some changes for the best in the future.
“But my goal with this is to grow the game of golf, to make it better whatever that may be. I’m an ambitious person but I’m not a greedy one. I know I can’t have everything, so there’s some things I’ll have to sacrifice and right now, that seems one I can live with.”
Joining the likes of Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith, Rahm is set to be given captaincy of a new team in 2024.
This is arguably LIV’s most significant play in its short history during a period when the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund are still yet to formalise their alliance.
Jon Rahm LIV Golf: How did this all come about?
Rahm was always quick to dash rumours when his name was linked with a switch to LIV.
“This is my official, my one and only time I’ll talk about this, where I am officially declaring my fealty to the PGA Tour,” he said in February 2022.
“I laugh when people rumour me with LIV Golf. I never liked the format. And I always have a good time with Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia in the practice rounds of majors,” he said in August 2023.
“Phil respects my decision, and I respect his. Mickelson has told me that I have no reason to go play for LIV, and he has told me that multiple times.”
Rumours again began to circulate. Rahm explained on Twitter/X playing in TGL “would require a level of commitment that I can’t offer.”
McIlroy was asked about Rahm’s possible move to LIV too: “I spoke to Jon a couple of days ago and would be very, very surprised if that were to happen.
“I’m pretty confident Jon is a PGA Tour player.”
The heat was turned up in the coming weeks though. The social media account Flushing It reported on Twitter/X on November 30 that Rahm to LIV was a “done deal.”
James Corrigan of The Telegraph then reported on December 5 the initial figure of £450 million and that Jason Day and Adrian Meronk could follow Rahm through the LIV door.
“I just think when guys get thrown money at them everyone’s got a number in the end,” Day said as per the Palm Beach Post while also ruling out a transfer of his own.
“I just hope he makes the right decision by him and his family. It doesn’t matter to me. Personally, if he leaves it makes my job easier because I don’t have to compete against him.
“I just want him to be happy. That’s all that matters in the end.”
The World No.3 wasn’t entered in the American Express on tour in January despite winning the event last year.
Rahm has remained close with LIV players such as Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson with whom he’s played practice rounds at major championships since LIV’s birth.
He is also part of the same agency as Mickelson and the American’s brother Tim was Rahm’s college golf coach.
Since joining the PGA Tour in 2016, Rahm has made over $51 million and won 11 times including two major titles.
Is Jon Rahm a LIV Golfer? Well, we could be about to find out! Tell us what you think on Twitter/X!
(Image credit: LIV Golf Media)