Paul McGinley feels Jon Rahm has put his career in jeopardy by defecting to LIV Golf and says the Spaniard has eroded the trust of golf fans worldwide.
Once a staunch critic of the LIV Tour, rejecting a $400 million bid in 2022, the reigning Masters champion signed a deal with the Saudi backed tour worth up to a reported $600 million on Thursday night.
This is a massive blow to the PGA Tour with Rahm seemingly in his pomp and has seen another major winner join LIV. Although he previously blasted the tour’s 54-hole, not cut tournament format, he has clearly changed his mind to McGinley’s disgust.
“So many people have completely reversed their position,” the 2014 Ryder Cup skipper Sky Sports. “Jon came out very, very strongly in support of the tours, and came out very strongly that this was not a good format, that he didn’t enjoy it, he didn’t see any future in it.
“[He said] he was chasing his own career and titles on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, and obviously the Ryder Cup. He knows that, by going here, it’s going to put a lot of that in jeopardy.
“Whether it does or not, we’ll have to wait and see. It’s a complete reversal of the position that he has stood very strongly on. A number of players who have gone over to LIV have done the same thing — they’ve said one thing and then done another.
“Who do you believe any more? You can’t take anyone’s word any more because people reverse their positions quickly and, it seems, pretty easily.”
Rahm’s move has only fuelled discussions over a possible partnership between LIV Golf and PGA Tour/DP World Tour with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan set to meet the Public Investment Fund this weekend to iron out a deal.
However, McGinley wonders if Rahm’s move will quash any potential agreement feeling the world of golf has become bloated and that players won’t want to play up to 30 tournaments between the three tours.
“I’m not involved in these high-level discussions that are going on,” McGinley said. “There is rumoured to be a deal, and I think ultimately there is going to be a deal. I’m hoping that the game will be unified again at some stage.
“Is there enough room in the schedule for the players to play 14 or 15 events, and still play 14 or 15 events between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Ryder Cups? No – the players don’t want to play 30 tournaments a year. It is a very crammed situation now.
“I’m hoping there is going to be a deal. I thought we were going to do a deal with Saudi and there was going to be an announcement, but obviously that has taken a turn for the worse. Saudi probably didn’t think things were going their way to get an agreement together, so they have brought out the chequebook to put things in their favour.”