While Jon Rahm's departure to LIV Golf on Thursday rocked the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy said that move doesn't hold as much water as what happened back in June.
The PGA and DP World tours announced in June they had a "framework agreement" to merge with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls the upstart golf league. There's a December 31 deadline to seal the deal.
"Is (Rahm's departure) disappointing to me? Yes, but the landscape of golf changed on June 6, when the framework agreement was announced. It legitimized basically what LIV was trying to do, and I think because of that it made the jump from the PGA Tour to LIV a little bit easier for guys," McIlroy told Sky Sports.
LIV previously enticed Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and others from the PGA Tour with huge paydays, but adding Rahm – the No 3 player in the world and an immensely popular player among fans – is a severe hit for the tour.
Rahm, 29, won the 2021 US Open and the 2023 Masters, two of his 11 PGA Tour victories. He completed his most successful season this year, winning four events.
The Spaniard, who helped Team Europe win the Ryder Cup this fall, has career earnings on tour of $51.5 million since joining in 2016. His rumored LIV contract of $300 million-plus would dwarf that amount.
As for the Ryder Cup, members of LIV Golf didn't play for Team Europe in this year's rendition.
McIlroy, however, was quite clear as to what he expects for Rahm's involvement in the next Ryder Cup. That's for him to be on Team Europe, which McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, has been part of seven times.
"Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025," McIlroy said, referring to the Long Island course that will host the Ryder Cup.
"Because ofRead on supersport.com