Jon Rahm's seismic move fractures the men's professional game as he joins LIV Golf.

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In a ground breaking move that has sent shockwaves through the world of men's professional golf, Jon Rahm's decision to join the LIV tour marks a pivotal moment in what has been dubbed the sport's 'civil war.' Backed by Saudi Arabia, the breakaway tour has secured a major victory by enlisting the services of the Spanish golf sensation, who clinched the Masters title last April and played a pivotal role in Europe's recent Ryder Cup triumph.

Known for his tempestuous playing style reminiscent of the legendary Seve Ballesteros, Rahm's international appeal has made him a European hero. Despite being schooled in the United States, where he claimed the 2021 US Open, Rahm's universal popularity is now a valuable asset for LIV, leaving a conspicuous void on both the PGA Tour and potentially Europe's Ryder Cup team.

The impending pressure to reconsider eligibility rules for the Ryder Cup, particularly for Luke Donald's team in 2025, looms large. The absence of a player of Rahm's stature could significantly devalue the prestige of the Ryder Cup. While Rahm is currently eligible under existing rules, changes may be in the offing as the qualification period for the 2025 European Ryder Cup team approaches.



The LIV tour, backed by Saudi funds, gains considerable leverage in negotiations with the PGA Tour, led by Jay Monahan, as they seek to solidify the 'framework agreement' signed on June 6. Originally intended to bring Saudi funds into both the PGA and DP World Tours, the agreement has failed to bring about the anticipated peace between traditional golf institutions and the upstart LIV.

Rahm's allegiance to the PGA Tour was palpable until the controversial Saudi deal came into play, leading to a sudden shift in his stance. The top-secret agreement, which blindsided many players, ultimately triggered Rahm's move to LIV. Even though Rahm was initially aligned with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's TGL simulator league, recent developments, including project delays and Rahm's withdrawal, hinted at an imminent departure.

The golfing landscape now appears deeply fractured, with the top players divided between the traditional PGA Tour and the insurgent LIV. The legitimacy of the Official World Golf Rankings is compromised, given that LIV's 14-tournament circuit receives no recognition. With names like Rahm, McIlroy, and Koepka among its ranks, LIV is gaining credibility and posing a challenge to the established order.



As concerns about Saudi Arabian involvement in sports were initially overlooked with the 'framework agreement,' the impending deadline for a deal between the PGA Tour and LIV approaches. Failure to reach an agreement could lead men's professional golf down a path reminiscent of the fragmented landscape seen in professional boxing.

The financial allure of LIV is undeniable, especially for Rahm, whose move is arguably the most significant individual contract in sporting history. With lucrative events and potential sponsorships, Rahm's decision underscores the prevailing influence of money in professional sports, even for a player with substantial career earnings approaching $75 million before turning 30. In this landscape driven by financial interests, Rahm's move serves as a testament to the compelling power of wealth in shaping the future of men's professional golf.


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