Masters champion joins Saudi-backed golf league in £450m deal

Jon Rahm has joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league in a deal understood to be worth up to £450m.

masters champion joins saudi-backed golf league in £450m deal

Masters champion joins Saudi-backed golf league in £450m deal

The 29-year-old is now the second current major champion on the LIV circuit after US PGA champion Brooks Koepka.

In a conference call on Thursday, the Masters winner looked to explain the reasons behind his move.

“Every decision I feel like we make in life there will be somebody who agrees and likes it and somebody who doesn’t, right,” Rahm said.

“I made this decision because I believe it’s the best for me and my family and everybody I’ve been able to talk to has been really supportive of me, so I’m very comfortable with my decision.

“I’m no stranger to hearing some negative things on social media or in media. It’s part of what it is, we’re public figures but you just learn to deal with it right? This certainly won’t define who I am or change who I am.”

Following confirmation of his switch, Rahm added in an official statement: “I am proud to join LIV Golf 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.”

The Spaniard played a leading role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Rome this year – but joining LIV places his future in the contest in serious jeopardy as he needs to remain a DP World Tour member to be eligible.

Former LIV player Bernd Wiesberger recently rejoined the DP World Tour, but only after paying hefty fines and serving a lengthy suspension.

On his Ryder Cup future, Rahm said: “That’s not up to me right now, but if it was up to me, I’ll be eligible to play so I surely hope I can keep up the good golf, keep playing good golf and give them a reason to have me on the team.”

“It’s a big risk to take, but I’ve had it in consideration and again, I’m hopeful that I can be part of the team again.”

LIV Golf’s future remains uncertain

A sensational sports truce – but power in golf has shifted

Previously, Rahm expressed his “fealty” to the PGA Tour in February 2022 and, in September that year, rubbished rumours that he would jump ship in reply to a post on Twitter which claimed he was about to sign for LIV.

He had stated “my heart is with the PGA Tour”, but later admitted players felt a sense of “betrayal” at the secret deal which was negotiated between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV Golf.

However, after signing on with LIV, the Spaniard said: “Obviously the past two years there’s been a lot of evolving on the game of golf, things have changed a lot and so have I.”

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