Jon Rahm's $900 million LIV Golf move signals massive win for Australia

The two-time major winner officially confirmed his bombshell move to LIV Golf after weeks of speculation.

Seen here, Jon Rahm shaking hands with LIV Golf chief Greg Norman.
World No.3 Jon Rahm has joined Greg Norman's LIV Golf in a deal reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Pic: LIV Golf

Jon Rahm has officially confirmed his defection to LIV Golf in a bombshell move that's reportedly set to be worth around $US600 million ($A914 million). In a decision that's sent shockwaves across the sport, the Spaniard's move paves the way for him to compete in Australia next year at the LIV Golf Adelaide event in April.

Speculation has been swirling for weeks that Rahm was on the verge of becoming the new face of Greg Norman's LIV Golf as arguably the biggest signing from the Saudi-backed tour. Rahm confirmed the rumours on Thursday night's Fox News in the United States but didn't go into detail about the eye-watering sums of money he's said to have been offered.

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"I have officially joined LIV Golf," Rahm said. "It's not an easy decision because I've had a really successful career and I've been really happy. But there's a lot of things that LIV Golf has to offer that were very, very enticing, starting with team golf.

"Being part of a team is something that's been really big for me throughout my career. I was part of the Spanish national team from the age of 14 until I graduated college. I was part of the Arizona State golf team. As a pro, you don't have that chance very often. ... It's something that is very fun to play for something more than just yourself.

"And simply, the growth that LIV Golf has brought to the game of golf. It's something fresh. It's something new. It's something with a ton of potential and opportunity. It's something I'm really excited about."

Pictured here, Jon Rahm after winning the 2023 Masters at Augusta.
Jon Rahm is seen here after winning the 2023 Masters at Augusta. Pic: Getty

Rahm was an integral part of the European Ryder Cup team that defeated USA in Italy earlier this year but the World No.3 had previously claimed he had no interest in leaving the PGA Tour. LIV Golf Commissioner and CEO Norman hailed the coup for the breakaway competition. "When I first met Jon at the age of 17, I knew then that the golfing world was about to witness the birth of a new star," Norman said.

"Jon has consistently validated that he is one of the top players in the world. He's a generational talent who has proven his merit as a multiple major champion and tremendous ambassador for global golf by placing the game ahead of himself."

"There are very few athletes with his pedigree of talent, leadership, poise, and commitment to bringing progress to the sport on a worldwide stage. We couldn't be more excited to welcome Jon to the LIV Golf family as the league continues preparations for a huge 2024 and beyond."

Jon Rahm's move a big win for Aussie golf fans

Rahm will compete in the LIV Golf League beginning next season, which kicks off February 2-4, 2024, at LIV Golf Mayakoba in Mexico. Aussie fans will get the chance to see one of world's best players in action during the LIV Golf tournament in Adelaide, that's set to be held from April 26 - 28 at The Grange Golf Club, two weeks after Rahm's title defence at the Masters.

Jon Rahm to spearhead new LIV Golf team

ESPN reports that Rahm will be given an ownership stake of the 13th and newest team that the Spaniard will spearhead. It also reports that LIV Golf is actively trying to recruit other PGA Tour players to add to Rahm's team.

In June, the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia announced an agreement to join forces, and there's a December 31 deadline to seal the deal. How Rahm joining LIV's roster will impact the alliance isn't clear. Rahm won the 2021 US Open and the 2023 Masters for the two biggest victories in his 11 career PGA Tour titles. He completed his most successful season this year, winning four events.

Since the emergence of LIV Golf in 2022, Rahm has been one of the PGA Tour's staunchest supporters and has spoken critically of LIV but there have been recent signs that his views on the breakaway tour may have shifted. Rahm recently pulled out of the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy-led TGL virtual golf league and had not committed to playing in a PGA Tour event in California in January, despite being the defending champion.

The 29-year-old has amassed a staggering $US51.5 million ($A78.5 million) in career earnings since joining the PGA Tour in 2016. If reports about his LIV Golf signing fee are accurate, the astonishing deal will be worth more than 10 times what he has earned over his career to date.

with agencies

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