Jon Rahm risks Ryder Cup future as LIV Golf celebrate biggest coup yet

Jon Rahm risks Ryder Cup future as LIV Golf celebrate biggest coup yet

Jon Rahm admitted he has “taken a risk” over his Ryder Cup future after agreeing a deal upwards of £450million to join LIV Golf.

LIV’s signing of the world No3 and current Masters champion is their biggest coup since the start of the breakaway series. And it is a move which throws into doubt the future of a European talisman in the event.

Team-mate Rory McIlroy insisted the Ryder Cup eligibility rules would have to be rewritten in light of Rahm’s defection, with golf’s uneasy peace set to be tested in the coming weeks.

A December 31 deadline for a merger between the PGA and DP World Tours and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), LIV Golf’s paymasters, is fast approaching. And the signing of one of the two tours’ biggest stars is a strong bargaining chip for PIF ahead of planned talks with the PGA Tour next week.

Rahm, one of the leading players in Europe’s victory in Rome under captain Luke Donald back in October, is adamant he wants to stay playing in the Ryder Cup but realises that is no longer guaranteed after his LIV defection.

He said: “My position for the Ryder Cup remains the same. I’ve explained many times how meaningful it is to me and I hope I can be in future editions.

“It’s a big risk to take. That’s not up to me right now but, if it was up to me, I’ll be eligible to play so I surely hope I can keep up the good golf and give them reasons to have me on the team.


“I wish I would have been able to call Luke and give him a heads-up but, unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position where I could do that.”

European players who had signed for LIV were deemed ineligible for this year’s event at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, a moved previously backed by McIlroy but one he said needed looking at in wake of Rahm’s switch.

He told Sky Sports: “Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025. So, because of this decision the European Tour are going to have to rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility, absolutely, there is no question about that. I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team.”

Like McIlroy, Rahm had previously been a mouthpiece for the PGA Tour and golf’s established order but had been rumoured to join the breakaway series in the weeks after his starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup success.

And that change of allegiance was finally made official last night in a deal worth an initial £300m but potentially much more having been given a stake in owning a LIV team.

Announcing his change of allegiance, the Masters champion told Fox News: “This is me finally saying after all of the rumours… I have officially joined LIV Golf. It’s not an easy decision. There’s a lot of things that LIV Golf had to offer which were very, very enticing.

"This was not easy for me... I play golf for the love of the game and I am not greedy but have a duty to my family"

Jon Rahm on joining LIV Golf

“I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf. I’m an ambitious person but I’m not a greedy one. But as a husband, as a father and as a family man I have a duty to them to give them the most amount of opportunities and the most amount of resources possible.”

The timing of the deal could not be worse for the PGA Tour ahead of next week’s talks between commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Since the merger with PIF was first announced in June, the PGA Tour have since been listening to approaches from other potential investors in recent weeks, ranging from Liverpool’s owner Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liberty Media, which owns Formula 1.

Rahm’s signing is a dramatic U-turn from his previous stance over LIV. He had previously stated that the shotgun starts and 54 holes of golf per tournament were “not appealing” and he had no interest in simply chasing the money.