Jon Rahm, the renowned Spanish golf star, has made a significant move by joining the controversial LIV Golf tour.
This decision was confirmed by Rahm himself, as reported by Reuters. At 29 years old, Rahm becomes the highest-profile golfer to join the Saudi Arabia-funded tour since Cameron Smith in 2022, following his British Open victory.
Rahm expressed his excitement and pride in joining LIV Golf, viewing it as a progressive step for both his career and the sport. "I am proud to join LIV Golf and be part of something new that is growing the sport," Rahm stated. He believes this move presents a promising opportunity for his family and himself.
This shift to LIV Golf marks a significant transition for Rahm, who is currently ranked third in the world. Media reports suggest Rahm's deal with LIV Golf is worth at least $300 million, equivalent to over two billion Danish kroner.
Rahm's departure from PGA Tour events, specifically his withdrawal from the American Express tournament this month, fueled speculation about his potential switch to LIV Golf. His decision to join LIV Golf is seen as a major blow to PGA Tour, where he was a defending champion.
Rahm's debut in LIV Golf is scheduled for the tour's season opener in Mexico in early February. The move has elicited strong reactions on social media, with some expressing disappointment and others viewing it as a lucrative, albeit controversial, decision.
LIV Golf, launched in 2021 and having its first tournament in 2022, has faced criticism for its Saudi Arabian funding and for luring players away from traditional tours with substantial financial incentives.
However, in a surprising turn of events earlier this year, LIV Golf reached an agreement with PGA Tour and DP World Tour, leading to the Public Investment Fund acquiring commercial rights for all three tours.
Notable golfers like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson have previously made the switch to LIV Golf, making Rahm's decision part of a growing trend in the golf world.