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LIV signs Jon Rahm

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2023 | Current Events |

The Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf scored a significant victory when it managed to land reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm. After months of saying he wasn’t interested in switching to LIV, the Spaniard softened his stance and then made the announcement, collecting a $300 million-plus payout. Currently ranked third in the world and in his prime, Rahm will join for the 2024 season as captain of a new team. His new team makes for 13 teams and 52 players, although the players who will fill out the team have not been announced. The 2024 season starts Feb. 2-4 at LIV Golf Mayakoba in Mexico. As of now, Rahm is banned from all PGA events and may be unable to play in the Ryder Cup competition.

A statement signing

Phil Mickelson may have caused the biggest controversy in leaving the PGA to join LIV, but Rahm’s payday is unprecedented, having previously earned $51.5 million during his PGA career. For LIV’s part, the signing shows that the upstart league is not going away.

According to LIV member Talor Gooch:

“It makes all of the naysayers think a little bit about all of the doubts that have been made over the last couple of years,” Gooch said. “It just continues to fight the narrative that there’s not great players at LIV and all these guys are past their prime and so on and so forth. He’s a guy that is probably just hitting his prime and that’s been probably the best player in the last five years.”

During a time of change

The Rahm signing also occurs when the PGA and LIV attempt to sign a deal — after setting aside litigation on June 6, 2023, they are in negotiations on how to work together. The agreement has a “hard” December 31, 2023, deadline. If it goes as planned, the Saudis will provide money, and the PGA executives will hold a controlling interest on a new board. The deal was supposed to be the solution to avoid messy litigation, but PGA officials have yet to discuss the deal with the players. The PGA is also talking with other investors because it needs more capital from someone to keep up with LIV’s free spending. The latter deal could again leave most players in the dark about their professional future.

All in all, Rahm’s makes him wealthier, but it seems to illustrate how little progress the warring leagues have made as the clock keeps ticking.