In a deal that is sure to send golf world into a tailspin, Jon Rahm has agreed to leave the PGA Tour for the upstart LIV Golf League, according to a report at ESPN.
Barring a last-minute pause from Rahm’s team, LIV Golf will announce the signing of the reigning Masters champion on Thursday afternoon from Abu Dhabi, where the first annual LIV Golf Promotions is set to get underway.
ESPN is reporting the deal to be worth more than $300 million for three years, while the Wall Street Journal is reporting the deal to be around $450-600 million.
The deal will include an ownership stake for Rahm in a new team and an expanded LIV Golf, which puts to rest rumors of Rahm joining compatriot Sergio Garcia on Fireballs GC. LIV Golf is said to be recruiting more PGA Tour players to fill out the roster of Rahm’s team, according to ESPN.
Rahm’s signing will give LIV Golf two of the four reigning major champions (Rahm/Masters, Brooks Koepka/PGA) and two of golf’s high-value names. Of the 2023 major winners, the PGA Tour is left with Brian Harman (British) and Will Clark (US Open) to promote.
Further, Rahm is now the second reigning major champion to ditch the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. In August 2022, Cam Smith signed with LIV Golf just weeks after claiming his maiden major at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland.
The 29-year-old Spaniard owns 11 PGA Tour wins, including two majors, and is credited with 10 more titles on the European Tour, headlined three DP World Tour championships. He is widely considered the greatest talent of his generation.
With the addition of the 2023 Masters winner, LIV Golf’s roster of major-winning captains includes a who’s who of marquee names: Jon Rahm, Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson.
From 2018-2021, Rahm, Koepka, DeChambeau and DJ were fixtures inside the world top 10, with Rahm and Johnson taking the No. 1 spot most of the time.