Jon Rahm – Masters wins, entries in majors influenced LIV’s decision

Jon Rahm – Masters wins, entries in majors influenced LIV’s decision

Winning the Masters last year, and the guaranteed spots in several majors that came with it, was a deciding factor in Jon Rahm’s decision to switch to LIV Golf, according to the big-hitting Spanish player whose move stunned the golf world.

Rahm, 29, announced last December that he was joining the LIV Golf League, which is backed by Saudi Arabia. He made his debut in Mexico last weekend, finishing tied for third.

Rahm had initially downplayed his chances of switching to LIV Golf, saying the huge financial incentives available to him didn’t really interest him.

But he now admits the money on offer was difficult to turn down, and the fact he was guaranteed to be able to play in the Masters helped make his decision.

“Winning the Masters was a big step toward thinking about it,” Rahm told Golf.com’s Breakthrough. “Being exempt from the majors, knowing that you can probably play the Masters for life and the US Open at least until 2031, you know, I’m prepared for a couple of those, right, so it was a big deciding factor.”

Rahm reportedly received more than $300 million to join LIV Golf, and while he says he meant what he said in 2022 that he was already wealthy enough to enjoy a great lifestyle, the sums on offer in the end were very tempting.

“When I said that, I totally meant it and it was true. Now, when they slap you in the face with a large sum of money, your feelings change,” Rahm said. “I try not to be a materialistic person, but I also owe it to my family to set them up for success the best I can, and I think having kids has changed that a little bit. So money is part of that. I’m not going to lie.”

Talks about a potential merger between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour have been ongoing since a framework agreement was reached in June, although the initial December 31 deadline to sign the deal has not been met.

Rahm said he hopes his decision to play LIV Golf may help both parties come together for the good of the sport.

“I really hope things come together,” he said. “I just hope we get to a point where it’s cohesive and there’s coexistence and there’s a way for people to enjoy the same privileges as touring.

“I hope that my coming will at least tip the scales a little bit for the golf world to come together because I see a situation where we can end up with a great product for the public and golf can be a better entertainment business than it was before.”

Rahm will play in his second LIV golf event at Las Vegas Country Club this week. But he admitted it was disappointing not to be able to play his favorite tournaments on the PGA Tour.

“Hopefully in the near future I can get back to playing some of those events,” Rahm told reporters on Tuesday. “I would definitely love to come back and play some of them.

“If there is a way back and a way we can play, even if it is as an invitation, I will accept it. There are some special events for me that I would still love to support.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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