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Dec 8th, 2023

Masters Champion Jon Rahm Joins LIV

2-time major winner is the latest star to leave the PGA Tour

LIV Golf today announced that two-time major winner Jon Rahm, the reigning Masters champion, has joined LIV Golf. Rahm will compete in the LIV Golf League beginning next season, which kicks off February 2-4, 2024, at LIV Golf Mayakoba in Mexico.

The world number three's decision to leave the PGA Tour for the Saudi-funded circuit represents a huge U-turn.

Rahm had previously ruled out joining LIV since its inaugural season in 2022.

However the rumour mill had been in full swing of late, with growing murmurs of a move on the cards, and as of approx. 12am GMT, the move was announced.

“I am proud to join LIV Golf and be part of something new that is bringing growth to the sport,” said Rahm. “I have no doubt that this is a great opportunity for me and my family and am very excited for the future.”

“When I first met Jon at the age of 17, I knew then that the golfing world was about to witness the birth of a new star. Jon has consistently validated that he is one of the top players in the world. He’s a generational talent who has proven his merit as a multiple major champion and tremendous ambassador for global golf by placing the game ahead of himself,” said LIV Golf Commissioner and CEO Greg Norman.

“There are very few athletes with his pedigree of talent, leadership, poise, and commitment to bringing progress to the sport on a worldwide stage. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jon to the LIV Golf family as the league continues preparations for a huge 2024 and beyond.”

The two-time major winner is reportedly set to earn around £450m ($566.4m) as part of the deal but said he "can't comment" on the figure which was a "private business".
Basque-born Rahm said the money he was being offered by LIV was "great" but maintained that he does "not play golf for the money".
He continued: "I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf. I'm an ambitious person but I'm not a greedy one.
"But as a husband, as a father and as a family man I have a duty to them to give them the most amount of opportunities and the most amount of resources possible.
"Obviously, [money] is a factor and it's an important one in this decision. The love of the game and wanting to grow it in a global market. Being part of the team. Being a captain. Hopefully being a leader to team-mates. It makes me want to work harder than I have done now to actually prove myself.
"Hopefully some time in the future some kids in Spain will want to be part of this team that I am going to build. Hopefully it's something that I am related to for a very long time. Hopefully until the day I die. And I can make it something very special."
He joins several other major winners at LIV, including Brooks Koepka, who won this year's US PGA Championship, 2022 Open champion Cam Smith and six-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

He was also critical of LIV's European players not being allowed to compete at the Ryder Cup this year.
Under current rules, European players must be members of the DP World Tour to be eligible to play.
That rendered record points scorer Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter ineligible after they resigned from the European tour in May in the wake of being fined and banned for their involvement with LIV.
Europe also switched captain midway through the two-year cycle after Henrik Stenson opted to join LIV, with Luke Donald taking over.
American Brooks Koepka, who won his fifth major at the 2023 US PGA Championship, was the only LIV player competing in Rome.

Rory McIlroy has always strongly spoken out against LIV golf, but has accepted that the European Tour will need to "rewrite the rules" to allow Jon Rahm to be eligible for future Ryder Cups, after his move to LIV Golf.

"It's sad politics have got in the way of such a beautiful event," said Rahm earlier this year.
"It's the best Europeans against the best Americans, period, And whatever is going on, who is playing LIV and who is not playing LIV to me shouldn't matter."

Thought it will be some time until we see who Luke Donald picks for his 2025 Ryder Cup Team, if Rahm maintains his world-class form, we will surely see him in Bethpage.

TAGS: LIV Golf, PGA Tour, Jon Rahm, 2023

And another thing...