Jon Rahm, the Spanish golf superstar who won the Masters and the U.S. Open, is reportedly set to jump from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf in one of the surprising moves of 2023.
Rahm’s deal with the Saudi-backed golf series is expected to be extremely lucrative, on par with the likes of Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson. ESPN reported Thursday that Rahm’s deal is expected to be valued at around $300 million over three years.
The former world No. 1 had previously been critical of those who jumped from the PGA Tour to LIV. Rahm said in June 2022 that he didn’t think playing 54 holes was a golf tournament and was more concerned about the history of the PGA Tour and its legacy.
“Yeah, money is great… Would our lifestyle change if I got $400 million? No. It would not change one bit,” he said at the time. “Truth be told, I could retire right now with what I made and I’d live a very happy life and not play golf again. I’ve never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game and I want to play against the best in the world.
“I’ve always been interested in history and legacy and right now the PGA Tour has that. There’s a meaning when you win the Memorial championship. There’s a meaning when you win Arnold Palmer’s event at Bay Hill. There’s a meaning when you win LA, Torrey (Pines), some of these historic venues. That, to me, matters a lot.
“My heart is with the PGA Tour.”
It’s unclear what changed in Rahm’s heart.
The deal comes as PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan are set to meet next week over a possible merger. The two sides set a deadline for a finalized agreement on Dec. 31.
Rahm, 29, is an 11-time PGA Tour winner and will join fellow defectors Koepka, Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith for the 2024 season and beyond.