The news has been confirmed that Jon Rahm has joined LIV Golf and his big money move has sent shockwaves through the world of golf.
The World No.3 and Masters champion, who previously pledged his loyalty to the PGA Tour, will play in the LIV Golf League next year after winning four times on the US-based circuit in 2024 including his Green Jacket triumph at Augusta National in April.
Rahm was a key member of Team Europe in their victory over the USA in Rome just two months ago, and his former doubles partner Justin Rose, who also starred at Marco Simone, gave his reaction to the Rahm news in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
The Englishman said Rahm "moves the delta" and him leaving the Tour "weakens one side and strengthens the other".
"This is a huge part of the jigsaw puzzle that you’ve seen Jon go,” Rose told Sports Illustrated's Gabrielle Herzig.
“And then I don’t know who else goes with Jon. I mean, obviously if it’s just Jon, that’s bad enough. What does that mean now to the trickle if it’s Jon plus a trickle?”
Rose accepted that Rahm is a "legacy-focused" player, with the Spaniard known to be proud to join his countrymen as Masters champions and previously quoted as saying that he wants "to play against the best in the world in a format that’s been going on for hundreds of years."
In that same press conference, at the 2022 US Open, he also said: "I’ve always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that. There’s meaning when you win the Memorial Championship. There’s meaning when you win Arnold Palmer’s event at Bay Hill. There’s a meaning when you win, LA, Torrey, some of the historic venues. That to me matters a lot, right."
“I think Jon’s a legacy-focused player. He really represents Spain, he understands who he’s following there in terms of Seve (Ballesteros) and Jose Maria (Olazabal). So I don’t think he was careless about this decision,” Rose said.
“We’re all trying to evaluate PGA Tour versus LIV in the sense of the fan base and the economics around both tours, but he’s the delta. He moves the delta. He weakens one side and strengthens the other. So it’s a big move."
"Huge coup for LIV, huge blow for the PGA Tour"Justin Rose on reports 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm has joined LIV Golf ⛳ pic.twitter.com/xOpGay2p3IDecember 7, 2023
"Jon's a huge coup for LIV obviously and a huge blow for the PGA Tour, and it definitely comes at a very interesting time where I think there's a lot of negotations happening at the moment," Rose said.
"I think we know that there's some type of 31st December deadline amongst talks between PGA Tour and whoever it may be, you know potential investors into the tour and merger talks and all these things that I think are quite confusing for people from the outside looking in about why this is kind of all going down. You can look at it both ways, maybe things are not going well on one side of things and the recruiting is starting pretty hard again on that.
"It's a big statement and big news and yeah, tough for the PGA Tour to lose Rahmbo for sure."
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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