Jon Rahm signs with LIV Golf for £450m

jon rahm signs with liv golf for £450m

Rahm has U-turned on his previous commitment to the PGA Tour – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Jon Rahm has signed with LIV Golf in a deal worth upwards of £450 million and is set to be unveiled in an announcement that will send a seismic shock throughout the professional game.

Telegraph Sport revealed earlier this week that the reigning Masters champion was on the brink of joining the Saudi-funded league and the record deal has reportedly been agreed.

The Golf Channel in the US claims that the unveiling could happen as early as Thursday evening and Telegraph Sport sources also insist that the ink has already dried.

Rahm, the world No 3 and two-time major champion, has previously insisted he would not cross the divide, but the move ultimately proved irresistible.

The Spaniard’s Ryder Cup eligibility will now come under intense focus and, apart from Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, the most worried person in golf must be Luke Donald. The Europe captain will be acutely aware that he cannot do without the swashbuckling Spaniard if he is to achieve the mission of retaining the Cup in New York in 2025.

Saudi chief to meet PGA boss next week

The future of the Ryder Cup is just one explosive issue that will be triggered by a capture that is not only the most expensive – even after the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau defected in nine-figure deals – but also perhaps the most notable. Its timing is also crucial.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, as well as the chairman of Newcastle United, is scheduled to meet Monahan next week in a face-to-face sit-down that is seen as crucial in the ongoing merger negotiations, which have a Dec 31 deadline.

Peace supposedly broke out in June when the PGA Tour – as well as the DP World Tour – made the bombshell announcement that it had reached  “a framework agreement” with PIF.

Since then the US Congress has expressed its concerns over an amalgamation with such a controversial foreign power, and US investors have lined up to be a part of any new order. The players have taken control of the PGA Tour’s policy board – that will have a veto on any deal – with Tiger Woods being co-opted onto the committee.

Rory McIlroy resigned from the panel last month amid whispers of the Saudis being cut out completely. This signing of Rahm will surely give Al-Rumayyan leverage in his conflab with Monahan and act as a warning against the Americans going solo.

Rahm’s U-turn on ‘fealty to PGA Tour’

For Rahm, this is a huge U-turn after his previous statements. When LIV was still in its infancy in Feb 2022, he said: “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.”

Then, when LIV was up and running a few months later he said: “I’ve never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world … I have always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that.”

Since Telegraph Sport’s report, there has been conjecture that the mooted announcement has changed everything. But only three months ago, he said: “I laugh when people rumour me with LIV Golf. I never liked the format. My heart is with the PGA Tour.”

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