Speculation is intensifying that Jon Rahm, the world No. 3 golfer, is on the verge of signing a record $500 million deal to join the LIV Golf breakaway tour.
Multiple unnamed sources told the Telegraph that they “expect” Rahm to sign with LIV imminently and potentially lead his own team.
While LIV officials claim no knowledge of negotiations with Rahm, additional reporting suggests the talks are being led in secret by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which also owns Premier League club Newcastle United. The secrecy around the PIF’s involvement adds credibility to the rumors.
“I think this will happen, and that Jason Day and Adrian Meronk will also join,” a former LIV golfer told the Telegraph.
However, another said, “I honestly know nothing and would just take everything as rumor.”
A well-connected individual on the DP World Tour believes a Rahm-to-LIV announcement “could happen as soon as (Wednesday) if it happens.”
I don’t think James Corrigan has been wrong a single time with reporting LIV player acquisitions. Starting to feel like a when, not if, for Jon Rahm to LIV. https://t.co/r5aXGibj3t
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) December 6, 2023
Rahm’s representatives have not commented, further fueling conjecture.
Notably absent in a Tuesday announcement about an upcoming PGA Tour event was Rahm’s name. As defending champion, he would typically be expected to participate. His omission suggests he may have plans to play elsewhere in 2023.
If Rahm joins LIV, it would likely preclude him from participating in future Ryder Cups under captain Luke Donald. He played a starring role in Europe’s victory in 2022 but defecting to LIV has ended eligibility for players like Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter.
Rumors of Rahm joining LIV come just before PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is slated to meet with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of PIF and chairman of Newcastle United. Their discussion next week is seen as pivotal moment in ongoing talks of a golf league merger or alignment.
Insiders speculate Al-Rumayyan could use leverage over Rahm’s status to pressure concessions from the PGA Tour. “If Yasir goes in there with Rahm in his back pocket, he can…say ‘unless there is a merger then we will keep signing the big names,'” said one unnamed source. “The Tour would be bullied into a corner.”