Jon Rahm jumps ship from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf in eye-watering deal worth ‘upwards of $570MILLION’… with Spanish two-time major winner set to be announced by Saudi-backed breakaway TODAY
- Jon Rahm has officially jumped ship from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf
- His move comes less than a month before the December 31 merger deadline
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Jon Rahm has officially jumped ship from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf with an announcement confirming the signing to come in the next few hours, according to various reports.
There had been increasing speculation over the past few weeks that the two-time major winner would defect to Greg Norman’s rebel circuit and the move reportedly is now a done deal with an announcement imminent.
The World No. 3 has inked a deal worth upwards of $570 million (£450 million), according to The Telegraph, which marks a huge coup for the Saudi-backed breakaway amid its seemingly unstable truce with the PGA Tour.
The Spaniard, who has won 11 times on the PGA Tour, had been one of the biggest names to stay loyal after the likes of fellow major winners, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
But six months after Tour commissioner Jay Monahan’s bombshell U-turn to declare an alliance with Saudi Arabia’s PIF, LIV’s backers, Rahm has performed an about-face of his own.
Jon Rahm has officially jumped ship from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, according to reports
The World No. 3 has reportedly inked a deal worth upwards of $570 million (£450 million)
It marks a huge coup for the Saudi-backed breakaway (Pictured left, PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and right, LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman)
An official announcement is said to be expected as early as Thursday evening but Rahm has already put pen to paper on the deal.
The signing comes as a huge blow for the PGA Tour with Rahm one of its most popular figures, along with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy.
It leaves his Ryder Cup future for 2025 at Bethpage in New York in doubt after other LIV rebels and Team Europe heroes, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson were all barred from being eligible for Luke Donald’s team after joining LIV last year.
Just few months ago, Rahm teamed up with McIlroy and Viktor Hovland to lead a resurgent Team Europe to a five-point Ryder Cup victory over the United States in Rome and was expected to be another leading figure for Donald, who was confirmed to captain the Europeans for a second time in 2025.
Rahm had repeatedly scoffed at rumors he would abandon the PGA Tour for one of LIV’s lucrative deals.
‘I laugh when people rumor me with LIV Golf,’ Rahm said via Handicap 54, translated from Spanish. ‘I’ve never liked the format. And I always have a good time with Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia in the practice rounds of majors.’
At the 2022 US Open, he also pledged fealty to the PGA Tour, insisting his ‘heart is with’ the existing tour.
However, the move doesn’t come as that big a shock with telling signs hinting at the defection over the past couple of months.
Rahm and Rory McIlroy helped lead Team Europe to a Ryder Cup victory a few months ago
The Spaniard’s defection could cost him his eligibility for the Ryder Cup in 2025
Rahm’s future first became murky after he pulled out of the first TGL season, a venture jointly started by McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
Rahm said about missing the TGL season: ‘I am sad to confirm that I will not be participating in the first TGL season. While I still think it’s a great opportunity, right now it would require a level of commitment I can’t offer.’
A report from golf writer Alan Shipnuck claiming that Phil Mickelson has been telling people Rahm to LIV was essentially a done deal, which led the lefty to come out swinging.
But, unlike in the past, Rahm had remained silent on the rumors, instead of publicly shutting them down, which only increased speculation that he was preparing for a PGA Tour exit.
Rahm fanned the flames wen he chose not to defend his title at The American Express, a PGA Tour event.
Rahm has also remained close with Fireballs GC captain Garcia following his fellow Spaniard’s move to LIV in 2022 and even petitioned for the European rebels to be considered for Ryder Cup selection.
Rahm’s move comes less than a month for the December 31 framework agreement between the PGA Tour and PIF to finalize the details of the truce.
The PGA Tour dropped the bombshell on June 6 announcing that golf’s two warring sides were calling a truce that would essentially see the PGA Tour, Europe’s DP World Tour and LIV Golf come under one umbrella.
While June’s merger ended the on-going litigation battles between the two fractions under the framework agreement, negotiations over details of the deal are ongoing and need to conclude ahead of a December 31 deadline.
But Rahm’s defection could add to the tension of the already-fragile negotiations between all parties.
The Spaniard announced his decision to pull out from Tiger Woods and McIlroy’s TGL venture
There have been murmurs of a deal collapsing with the PGA Tour considering alternative options.
But with PIF’s governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan set to meet with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan next week, his capture of Rahm could be the leverage needed to keep the Tour onside.
PGA players were kept in the dark for weeks over the Tour and LIV Golf’s backer, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, plans to merge under a framework agreement and only found out at the same time as the rest of the world on social media.
Monahan in particular faced fury from his members with many calling for him to step down during a contentious player meeting in the immediate aftermath of the bombshell announcement.
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