A Champion’s Dilemma: Jon Rahm on Leaving PGA Tour for LIV Golf

In Augusta, Georgia, Jon Rahm, the defending Masters champion, reflected on his controversial decision to leave the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League last December. Rahm believed his move might help bridge the divide in the golfing world. Speaking at Augusta National, he expressed disappointment that the resolution of the sport’s division wasn’t within his control, despite his intentions.

Rahm, now sporting the “Legion XII” LIV team logo, remains convinced he made the right choice, citing personal reasons and the enjoyment he’s found in LIV events, especially the team aspect. His decision to switch tours, facilitated by a reported deal exceeding $350 million, came as a surprise given his previous loyalty to the PGA Tour and criticisms of LIV’s 54-hole format.

Participating in fewer tournaments this season compared to previous years, Rahm has secured top 10 finishes in all five LIV events, though a victory still eludes him. He feels physically better prepared for the Masters this year, attributing this to his altered schedule.

Rahm, who lives in Scottsdale, admitted to feeling a sense of loss, particularly missing PGA Tour events he loves, like the Waste Management Open. Despite his move, he maintains a fondness for the PGA Tour and hopes for a future where he might compete there again.

The transition to LIV Golf has underscored Rahm’s limited influence over the sport’s direction. However, he appreciates the team aspect of the LIV format, a key factor in his decision to leave the PGA Tour. Despite this, Rahm has advocated for LIV to adopt a 72-hole tournament structure, believing it to better determine winners and enhance competition.

Reflecting on the impact of his Masters victory, Rahm acknowledged that the win, which guaranteed him a five-year exemption in all majors, influenced his decision to join LIV. He contemplates the potential shift in his legacy due to both his Masters win and his move to LIV. Rahm sees this as a significant change in his career path but remains optimistic about the future.

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