Jon Rahm said he wouldn’t go to LIV Golf.
All this in February 2022.
“This is my one and only time where I will speak about this, where I officially declare my loyalty to the PGA Tour,” Rahm said. according to Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel. “…I have a lot of confidence in (PGA Tour commissioner) Jay Monahan and the product they’re going to give us going forward. There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about the Saudi league. It’s just not something that I believe is best for me and my future in golf, and I think the best legacy I can achieve will be on the PGA Tour.
How much time do you have?
LIV launched approximately four months later. They fought with the Tour for players and prestige. They started a second season. Rahm supported the Tour. Then, in June this year, LIV’s backer, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, agreed to a provisional financing agreement with the Tour. And it was astonishing. Only, that’s mostly it. Today, the agreement is still under negotiation. And there are questions. Is it lit? Is it off?
Is Rahm changing his mind?
Last week, the Palm Beach Post Tom D’Angelo suggested this possibility, writing that “multiple media outlets are reporting that Rahm is in advanced talks with the Saudi-backed league for a potential $600 million.” This has been – and remains – a hot topic online. Could the world’s third player leave for LIV? What would that do to the deal? And that previous quote? For his part, however, Rahm has been staying mum recently and a message to Rahm’s agent from GOLF.com went unanswered.
But two other players spoke out on Friday, when asked about it all after their match at World of Heroes Challenge. The first was one of the newest members of the Tour’s political council, although Tiger Woods also won 15 major tournaments and 82 Tour events.
Woods was vague. And revealing. He was asked four questions.
Here is the exchange:
Reporter: “Tiger, there has been a lot of talk again in the last 48 hours about some big players signing for LIV.”
Woods: “I’m sorry, louder.”
Reporter: “In the last 48 hours, players have signed for LIV. Does this surprise you?
Woods: “The chatter or the people leaving?
Journalist. “People are leaving.”
Woods: “I don’t – hypothetically it would surprise me, yes, but there are so many different things that have happened in the last, like you said, 48 hours, but also in the last weeks. Things have changed and will continue to change. Our deadline is coming up soon, so there are a lot of moving parts. A lot of different things are happening very quickly because we know, you know, I think today is the first day of December; we do not have much time.
Journalist: “You say it wouldn’t surprise you…”
Woods: “Well, nothing really surprised me other than the fact that there were so many different things that happened so quickly. It’s one of the things that all of us – all of us as player-directors have been working on, just that everything is now pressed for time. We spend 24 hours a day trying to understand. »
Things have changed? Bahamian journalists did not follow up on this matter. The deadline we know; the agreement set it for December 31. But there was also a hint at some recent developments – so many different things that have happened in the last, like you said, 48 hours. Is a deal reached? Is it dead? Are there any new partners? Are the players leaving? Notably, the absence of information generally fuels speculation.
A bit later, Jordan Spieth stood in front of the journalists. He is the newest member of the Tour’s political council, although Spieth has also won three major tournaments. There were some details here. With a plea. And a defense.
He was asked three questions. Here is the exchange:
Journalist. “You have just joined the political council; That’s really the only reason I’m asking. With all the rumors about…”
Spieth: “I what?
Journalist: “You have just joined the political council. Honestly, the only reason I’m asking, with all the rumors going around about Jon Rahm, if this were to happen, what impact would it have on the negotiations with the Public Investment Fund?
Spieth: “I’m not sure how that would impact these negotiations, but overall, Jon Rahm is one of the biggest assets we have on the PGA Tour. So it really wouldn’t be very good for us in general because we want to play against the best players in the world and that’s what Jon is. I know there are guys who have spoken to him. I know he maybe thinks through some decisions, maybe not. I really don’t know, so I don’t want to insult him and say he’s weighing decisions if he already knows he doesn’t or does. You know, it’s a little out of my control, in a way. Obviously, I could probably speak for over 200 PGA Tour players in saying that we really hope he continues with us.
Journalist. “If you had to try to convince Jon to turn down crazy money, what would you say to him? »
Spieth: “Again, the weird thing is, if he doesn’t think about it at all, which I really don’t know, then it would be an insult to play this game with him for not being -what to answer these questions. He might be insulted. You know, I think for me, if it were me, and I don’t even know if I ever got an offer, but I like the way I play four rounds of Stroke Play the same way we do let’s play the majors. I believe we’re playing against the best players in the world, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do, is play here and try to get wins on the PGA Tour, catch the legends of the game. It’s all about the story and the money is a bonus.
There were details in there, weren’t there? Kind of.
It’s of course nothing new that Rahm is an asset. But Some guys did you talk to him? Interesting. WHO? About what? He weighs the decisions, but maybe not? What decisions?
And then came what could probably be called a PGA Tour mission statement.
At least we know where Spieth will play golf.