Did PGA Tour act fast with Saudi PIF because Jon Rahm was in LIV Golf talks?!

Jon Rahm was in "advanced discussions" to join LIV Golf, according to Golf Channel host. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 8 Jun 2023
Did PGA Tour act fast with Saudi PIF because Jon Rahm was in LIV Golf talks?!

Jon Rahm was apparently in "advanced discussions" to join LIV Golf prior to the PGA Tour's shock merger with Saudi PIF earlier this week, confirms Golf Channel and ESPN+ host Matt Adams. 

Although Adams did not specifically disclose Rahm's name, he did say the player in question was "recently ranked No.1 in the world and is a multiple major champion."

Now given Rahm was "recently World No.1" and is a "multiple major champion" (2021 US Open, 2023 Masters), he ticks the only box. 

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Current World No.2 Rahm was also heavily linked with a move to LIV Golf last season.

Scottie Scheffler is the current World No.1 but the American only has the one major to his name - the 2022 Masters. 

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who was last World No.1 back in October 2022 and now third in the world, confirmed earlier this week he was never offered a single dollar from LIV Golf. 

You have to go back to August 2020 to find the last non-LIV Golf player who was World No.1 and that is two-time US PGA champion Justin Thomas.

But JT, now down in 15th, hardly fits the bill of "recently World No.1". 

According to Adams, the potential risk in losing Rahm to LIV could be one big reason why the PGA Tour decided to act fast on a deal this week to partner with the Saudi PIF and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is bankrolling LIV Golf. 

Related: How much is in the Saudi PIF?!

Rahm, as we say, had already been strongly linked with a move to join LIV Golf in 2022. 

The PGA Tour star was reportedly offered in the region of $200m for his services to LIV Golf, which was the same figure that was supposedly handed to Phil Mickelson

But Rahm hit back at one particular LIV Golf fan account last September to confirm he was definitely not leaving the PGA Tour. 

Related: 23 burning questions we have about the PGA-LIV Golf merger

Given this week's bombshell news, you could argue Rahm - and others - have every reason to feel aggrieved to have remained loyal to the PGA Tour only to now find themselves and the PGA Tour partnering up with Saudi Arabia. 

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According to Adams, a source revealed to him earlier this week that LIV have once again been relentless in their pursuit of Rahm in 2023, at least ever since he slipped on the green jacket in April. 

As you may have gathered by now, LIV Golf loves a major champion. 

Per Adams, LIV Golf and Rahm were said to be in "advanced talks" this time around. 


PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reportedly opened talks alongside his vice chairman of the PGA Tour's policy board Jimmy Dunne and Saudi PIF boss Al-Rumayyan on a merger two months ago.

That very much falls in line with when Rahm won his second major title, too. 

Adams said: 

"I was able to learn through sources yesterday that a player who was recently ranked No.1 in the world and who is a multiple time major champion was in advanced discussions with LIV. 
"I don't know what impact that had behind the scenes but if players were starting to look at it and go 'you know what, we have no reason for an alliance one way or the other, we can make decisions that are in our best financial interests as well', so maybe that had an impact on these decisions behind the scenes in terms of where people saw the end game in all of this. It's absolutely fascinating..."

Here at GolfMagic, we heard from multiple sources how there were five names in particular that LIV Golf were heavily going after last summer.

This was at a time when they had already snapped up the likes of Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau

Those five players were Rahm, Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

Matsuyama was offered a staggering fee, but incredibly turned it down. 

LIV failed on four of those names but managed to get their man Smith after he won The Open, along with a few other fringe PGA Tour players such as Mito Pereira, who we confirmed was a done deal prior to the Presidents Cup last September. 

Best friends Cantlay and Schauffele were apparently "very close" to signing but were both said to have wanted OWGR points on board due to them both not having yet won a major championship - and they did not want to risk missing out on competing in the four big events of the season. 

Rahm may have missed out on his $200m at LIV Golf, but you would like to think he - and the rest of the PGA Tour's biggest names who remained loyal - will still find themselves earning an even greater boatload of cash over the coming years as part of the merger. 

It will all work out for them, we're fairly confident of that. 

Next Page: Every big name will get an offer to join LIV Golf, according to one executive.

No, it's not Jon Rahm... it's our very own Alex Lodge! Check out our latest video: 


What have you made of this week's shock merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi PIF? Do you think Rahm would have actually gone to LIV Golf? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.