NEW YORK: Masters champion Jon Rahm jumped from the PGA Tour to Saudi-backed LIV Golf on Thursday in a big-money move that has sent another shockwave through the sport.
The 29-year-old becomes the biggest name to sign on with the rebel circuit funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) since Australian Cameron Smith joined after winning the 2022 British Open.
“I am proud to join LIV Golf and be part of something new that is bringing growth to the sport,” said Rahm, in a statement from LIV Golf. “I have no doubt that this is a great opportunity for me and my family and am very excited for the future.”
One of golf’s most popular and charismatic figures, Rahm’s departure will be seen as another massive blow to the PGA Tour which has seen many of its biggest names jump to the breakawy league.
Media reports said the world number three will be paid at least US$300 million with some outlets putting the guarantee at closer to US$600 million.
Rumours of his switch to LIV Golf gathered steam when he pulled out of next month’s American Express tournament, a PGA Tour event he has won twice before and where he is the defending champion.
Rahm will make his LIV Golf League debut at the circuit’s season opening event on Feb 2-4 at LIV Golf Mayakoba in Mexico.