10 reasons Jon Rahm was always going to LIV Golf

Jon Rahm has accepted a huge fee to join the LIV Golf League from the PGA Tour, but we are not shocked in the slightest and here is why...

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 8 Dec 2023
10 reasons Jon Rahm was always going to LIV Golf

Jon Rahm's decision to join LIV Golf may have stunned the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but it certainly has not shocked us here at GolfMagic.

Yes, Rahm may look something of a fool right now given these comments he made about his loyalty to the PGA Tour last season, but our sources close to LIV Golf have repeatedly told us the Spaniard was always intent on joining the Saudi-bankrolled circuit at the next available opportunity. 

The more you delve deeper into some of Rahm's comments and actions in recent times on the PGA Tour, and the fact he has major championship status banked for years to come as a two-time major champion, the more it becomes evident he was always destined to twist rather than stick where LIV Golf was concerned. 

Jon Rahm signs for LIV Golf

Rahm, 29, has now accepted a reported record £450m fee to join LIV Golf. 

That equates to around $550m

Rahm has signed a multi-year contract with LIV and he will captain his own team.

"After all the rumours, some of them were true, I have officially joined LIV Golf," Rahm said as he made his announcement official on Fox News.

Rahm added: "Things have changed a lot in the game of golf over the past two years and I've seen the growth of LIV Golf and the innovation.

"That's why I'm here today. This decision was made for many reasons and what I thought was best for me.

"Don't get me wrong, it's a great deal."

He concluded: "I believe it's best for me and my family."

It is believed Rahm will own a 25% equity stake in his own LIV Golf team.

Rahm's signature arrives just weeks before the PGA Tour / Saudi PIF merger deadline. 

WATCH RAHM'S FULL INTERVIEW

Phil Mickelson was previously the highest earner on LIV following his $200m deal ahead of their inaugural 2022 season. 

Other players earning well over the $125m mark on LIV Golf include Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka

Rahm will now be suspended on the PGA Tour along with all other members who have joined LIV Golf, but he will still get to play in all of the majors as a result of his status in the game as a two-time major champion and the current World No.3. 

As for the Ryder Cup, Rahm admits he may have taken a big risk should he not be allowed to compete in the biennial contest when it next swings around at Bethpage in the United States in 2025. 

10 reasons why Jon Rahm was always going to LIV Golf

With Rahm's move to LIV Golf now in the books, we have listed 10 reasons why the transfer was always going to happen. 

Let's get into it. 

#1 - The money is astronomical

Come on, how can you possibly turn down a reported grand sum of $550m, especially with a wife and two kids? Yes Rahm said last year $400m would not change his life, but do you really believe that?! It's crazy money when you think about it especially over a period of five years, equating to $110m per season. Even if Rahm won every tournament he played on the PGA Tour in 2024, he would never earn anywhere near that total. Rahm more than likely thought ‘well if the PGA Tour are happy to now work with Saudi PIF, the guys they previously told me not to do business with, then maybe now is the perfect time after all?!’ Good on you we say, Jon. 

#2 - Can still play in all the majors

Who knows what will happen for LIV Golf players over the coming years, especially in light of a potential PGA Tour / Saudi PIF partnership, but Rahm will still get to play in all of the major championships as he is the regining Masters champion and already a US Open champion (2021). That secures his place in the four majors for the time being no matter which circuit he is on. Rahm is also the World No.3, giving him peace of mind that his place in all four majors is secure. 

#3 - Good friends with Sergio and Phil

While friendship might not seem that important when professional golf is your job, a life on the road is a lot more fun for these guys with their best pals. Rahm idolises Sergio Garcia and shares a very close bond. You only have to read these comments to realise how much respect Rahm has for Garcia. LIV Golf will also be able to promote their Spanish Valderrama event even more over the coming years with both Rahm and Garcia on their roster. Rahm is also good friends with fellow Arizona resident Mickelson, and that was evident when he defended both LIV and Lefty in 2022. 

#4 - Dropped out of TGL

Do you really think Rahm pulled out of the TGL last month because he suddenly realised Arizona was the other side of the United States in relation to the SoFi Center in Florida? Come on, he clearly knew the distance and time involved when he first signed up to Woods and McIlroy's new tech-infused golf league (which has now been pushed back to 2025) that is backed by the PGA Tour. It is evidently part of the current TGL contract that if you compete in the new league then you will not be able to move over to LIV Golf at the same time. Rahm pulled the plug on TGL in the same week we first caught wind he had already agreed a fee to join LIV Golf, so you can most definitely put two and two together here. 

Related: Rahm daggers Woods and McIlroy

#5 - Becomes the new leader for LIV and gets his own team

Rahm believes he is the best player in the world right now, even if he is going to end the year at World No.3. He quite simply has no interest playing second fiddle to both Woods and McIlroy in terms of power status on the PGA Tour. So why not move over to LIV Golf where you will become the new leader of the circuit and given all the power in the world? Rahm effectively becomes the main man all of a sudden. He even gets to captain his own LIV Golf team, which provides added responsbility and additional millions in the bank for him. 

#6 - Not been frightened to take big gambles in the past

Rahm was already playing some fantastic golf before he left TaylorMade to join Callaway in 2021. But with any big equipment switch comes some form of risk, especially when he had used TaylorMade clubs and ball for many years. Okay, Rahm could probably have used any equipment he wanted back then and still been able to win tournaments for fun, but his big-money move to join Callaway did raise some eyebrows at the time. Thankfully for him, it was a brilliant decision and he has quickly become a two-time major champion following victories at the 2021 US Open and 2023 Masters. Once again, there could be a slight risk by joining LIV Golf if his game does decline or he finds himself less motivated to perform week in week out, but it's clearly a gamble Rahm is willing to take. If he does become fresher going into the majors as a result of playing less golf and it helps reap the rewards for more major silverware and a career grand slam, then it could look like a very smart move indeed. We personally think Rahm will win at least one major in 2024. 

#7 - Has snapped at the running of multiple PGA Tour events

Rahm was clearly not a fan of the PGA Tour making the 2023 Tour Championship "all about the money". He added: "When you win a Green Jacket, I can tell you right now that any major champion this year might not remember how much money they made." It was not the first time Rahm has hit out at the running of PGA Tour events in recent years. In early 2022, he ripped into the course set-up at The American Express. 

#8 - Had no interest replacing McIlroy on the PGA Tour policy board 

Rahm made his feelings crystal clear he would not be replacing McIlroy as a player director on the PGA Tour policy board. "Oh you won't see me there," confirmed Rahm last month. With McIlroy out the running, Rahm had every chance to take the lead role for direction on the PGA Tour alongside the likes of Woods, but he did not fancy it in the slightest. But perhaps by then he already knew his movements for 2024. 

#9 - Let slip some interest in LIV 

While more often than not Rahm was quick to shut down any rumour of him going to LIV Golf last season, there were also little snippets here and there that made you think he was more than interested in making the move at some point in time. Rahm told Fore Play podcast in February: "I don't think LIV is necessarily a bad thing. You're getting a better product out of it - it's already happening. The best players in the world playing together way more often which is what we all wanted and what everybody watching TV wants." 

#10 - Already fed up with OWGR anyway

Rahm has been particularly vocal about the points distribution on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) in recent times. "It's laughable", Rahm told us during the DP World Tour Championship in November 2022. With that in mind, he probably won't care too much that LIV Golf is not part of the OWGR process as it stands. A number of critics believe the OWGR will soon need to change their stance as a result of many of the world's best competing on LIV Golf, and following the latest addition of Rahm that sentiment will only gain momentum in 2024. 

What do you make of Jon Rahm's decision to join LIV Golf in 2024? Are you shocked or like us, did you always see it coming? Share your comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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