A few weeks ago, Jordan Spieth replaced Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour Policy Board, entrenching himself into the PGA Tour’s ongoing negotiations with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The two sides have until Dec. 31, 2023, to strike an agreement, but with a month before the deadline, rumors of Jon Rahm heading to LIV Golf have picked up substantially.
What that means in the long term is not yet known, but Spieth was asked about this potential development after his second round at the Hero World Challenge.
“We really hope that he’s continuing with us,” Spieth said.
“I know there’s been some guys that have talked to him. I know he’s maybe weighing 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’s not or he is. You know, that’s somewhat out of my control in a way.”
Rahm was supposedly offered around $600 million to join LIV Golf, a figure no other golfer has received.
But everyone in the golfing world knows of Rahm’s pedigree. He has the opportunity to become one of the greatest Spanish—and perhaps European—golfers of all time. The Barrika, Spain native won the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and will arrive as the defending champion at Augusta National next April.
“I’m not sure specifically how it would impact those negotiations, but all in all, Jon Rahm is one of the biggest assets we have on the PGA Tour,” Spieth added.
“So it would not 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.”
Rahm is currently ranked third in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), trailing only Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy. The OWGR has become quite controversial lately, so if we use DataGolf, another metric, Rahm comes in as the fifth-ranked player.
Regardless, Rahm is no doubt one of the top players in the world. And as Spieth alluded to, he is an important asset to the PGA Tour, the league Rahm came of age with, and the tour that he pledged his allegiance to at the 2022 Genesis Invitational.
“This is my official, my one and only time I’ll talk about this, where I am officially declaring my fealty to the PGA Tour,” Rahm said in 2022.
Then, four months ago, Rahm “laughed off” the rumors that associated him with LIV Golf.
“I’ve never liked the format [of LIV Golf],” Rahm said on Golf Sin Etiquetas, a Spanish golf podcast. “And I always have a good time with Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia in the practice rounds of majors.”
Yet, some rumors have indicated that LIV Golf, which employs a 54-hole format, would alter its structure to bring Rahm in. Perhaps they would change to 72-hole stroke play tournaments, which is what the PGA Tour has always done.
“If it were me, and I don’t even know if I ever got an offer, but I like the way that I play four rounds of stroke play the same way we play the majors,” Spieth added.
“I believe that we’re playing against the best players in the world, and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do is to play out here and try and catch PGA Tour wins, catch the legends of the game. It’s a history thing and the money’s a bonus.”
Rahm, too, loves the history of golf, with the great Seve Ballesteros serving as his idol. Nevertheless, who knows where the two-time major champion will be when the first shot is struck at The Masters next spring. Maybe he is with the PGA Tour, maybe he is on LIV. Either way, Rahm will always be regarded as a generational talent.
And Spieth knows that too.