Jon Rahm jumps ship from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf in eye-watering deal worth upwards of 0MILLION… with the Saudi rebel tour confirming his move in social media gaffe on Thursday night
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Jon Rahm has finalized terms on a move to the LIV circuit that will net the Masters champion north of £400million ($570million) and ranks as the most crippling blow yet to the PGA Tour.

LIV announced the news of the world No 3’s defection by posting a word search with his name – spelt incorrectly as ‘John’ on the fourth and fifth row – on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Thursday night. It had been widely expected for several weeks despite repeated claims from the Spaniard in the past year that he could not be bought.

Rahm said on social media on Thursday: ‘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.’

As with so much in golf’s civil war in the past two years, the vast wealth of LIV’s Saudi Arabian backers ultimately proved more persuasive than the reservations held by the 29-year-old.

His departure is a huge hit for the PGA Tour and one could not have come at a worse time for the traditional front of golf.

Jon Rahm has officially jumped ship from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, according to reports

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)

The World No. 3 has reportedly inked a deal worth upwards of $570 million (£450 million)

PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan

LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman

It marks a huge coup for the Saudi-backed breakaway (Pictured left, PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and right, LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman)

By snatching away Rahm, LIV and the Saudis have served a reminder of what the PGA Tour can expect if the merger talks fail, while also resoundingly demonstrating that any partnership they might reach would not be on an equal footing. 

A deadline for the conclusion of those merger negotiations is the last day of this month and the Saudis have seemingly been jolted into action by the PGA Tour’s desire of late to court alternative US-based investment – the Saudi response to that threat of being cut out has been the looting of one of their biggest names.

Rahm and his team have always emphatically distanced themselves from LIV, whose interest has been consistent since their launch. Mail Sport was told by LIV players last month that a deal for Rahm was effectively done and one of his representatives laughed off the possibility when approached at the DP World Tour Championships in Dubai.

That in turn followed Rahm’s comments three months ago, when he said: ‘I laugh when people rumor me with LIV Golf. I never liked the format. My heart is with the PGA Tour.’

In leaving the PGA Tour, Rahm will be the first major defection since Cameron Smith left in the wake of winning The Open last year. 

As the reigning Masters champion and the winner of the 2021 US Open, Rahm will be exempt into all the majors for at least the next five years.

However, 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 a 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 and Rory McIlroy helped lead Team Europe to a Ryder Cup victory a few months ago

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

The Spaniard’s defection could cost him his eligibility for the Ryder Cup in 2025 

Rahm had repeatedly scoffed at rumors he would abandon the PGA Tour for one of LIV’s lucrative deals. 

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’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 claimed 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.

The Spaniard announced his decision to pull out from Tiger Woods and McIlroy's TGL venture

The Spaniard announced his decision to pull out from Tiger Woods and McIlroy’s TGL venture 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to sit down with Al-Rumayyan next week

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to sit down with Al-Rumayyan next week 

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. 

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. 



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