Even when the frameworks of a merger are nonetheless in place, LIV Golf simply poached top-of-the-line gamers on the PGA Tour.
Jon Rahm, the world’s quantity three golfer and the reigning Masters champion, has agreed to an enormous cope with the Saudi Arabia-backed tour. The Spaniard is about to signal a deal that’s reported value at minimal $300M and for at the least three years. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported that Rahm can have an possession stake in a brand new LIV group and that the tour is making an attempt to recruit different PGA gamers.
In fact, Rahm’s defection to LIV comes because the Public Funding Fund, the sovereign fund for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the American-based PGA Tour are nonetheless forging forward in direction of their self-imposed December 31 deadline for a merger.
When the PIF agreed to a union between LIV, the PGA and the DP World Tour (the European Tour), there was a clause within the framework settlement that prohibited the poaching of gamers for both LIV or the PGA. But, that clause was eliminated after the U.S. Division of Justice expressed issues in regards to the restriction of competitors.
In Schlabach’s report, the senior author famous that Rahm prevented closely criticizing LIV like his friends within the PGA had, which may have grooved the tracks for his departure from the established tour:
Rahm’s resolution is a surprising about-face for a 22-time worldwide winner who is taken into account one of many fiercest opponents within the sport. Earlier than the 2022 U.S. Open at The Nation Membership in Brookline, Massachusetts, Rahm was requested about his curiosity in becoming a member of the upstart circuit.
“Yeah, cash is nice, however when [my wife] Kelly and I, this primary factor occurred, we began speaking about it and we’re like, ‘Would our way of life change if we bought $400 million?’ No,” Rahm mentioned. “It will not change one bit. Reality be instructed, I may retire proper now and I may stay a really comfortable life and never play golf once more. I’ve by no means actually performed the sport of golf for financial causes. I play for the love of the sport, and I wish to play in opposition to the very best on this planet.”