May 21, 2024

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Jon Rahm hoped his move to LIV would lead to a PGA Tour and PIF deal: 'Unfortunately, it's not up to me'

Jon Rahm hoped his move to LIV would lead to a PGA Tour and PIF deal: 'Unfortunately, it's not up to me'

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It's been ten months since the framework agreement between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf's backer, was announced, and a final agreement to standardize the game has yet to be reached. Jon Rahm, the current Masters champion, believes his recent departure to the emerging rival league could have speeded things up.

The Spaniard turned out to be sorely mistaken.

Rahm revealed Tuesday at Augusta National that he “hopes” his decision to join the Saudi-backed tour will help shift the tectonic plates of golf. Rahm is one of the top three players in the world, an 11-time PGA Tour winner and two-time major champion – but has defected to LIV Golf. This move would certainly have shaken things up a bit.

He opened the gates. If LIV can get Ram, she can get almost anyone, so the theory goes. Golf professionals will have no choice but to consolidate.

But five months after Rahm appeared on Fox News wearing a LIV Golf jacket to announce his official jump, not much has changed. The game remains divided, with the Grand Slams representing the only opportunities for the best talent on the LIV and PGA Tour to compete on the same stages.

“I understood that it could be, as I hoped, a step towards some kind of agreement, yes, or more of an agreement or an urgent agreement,” Rahm said during a pre-tournament press conference.

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Since joining LIV, Ram has discovered that this hope was in vain.

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“But unfortunately, it’s not up to me,” Ram said. “I hope this is something that will help speed up the process. But at the end of the day, I'm still doing what I think is best for myself.”

Ram's comments served as further clarification of a point He recently presented on BBC Radio 5 Live. The 2021 US Open champion explained that his decision to join LIV was partly motivated by the fact that it could be “the beginning of a turning point” for the game to move in a positive direction.

“The balance of the golf game might be disturbed a little bit,” Rahm said. “There were very few players who could have made a bigger impact than me. I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much, but I understood the situation I was in.”

What we all need to understand is that the moment the framework agreement was worked out, everything changed. And here the beginning of all this change occurred.

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(Photo: Reinhold Mattei/USA Today)