After initially saying the financial incentives being offered by LIV Golf would not sway him, Jon Rahm now admits that money and a guaranteed spot in the Masters played a role in his surprise December decision to join the Saudi-backed league, the Spanish golfer told Golf.com’s Breakthrough.
Ahead of the U.S. Open in June 2022, Rahm said, “Money is great, but when (my wife) Kelley and I started talking about it, and we’re like, ‘Will our lifestyle change if I got $400 million? No, it will not change one bit.'”
Now, Rahm concedes that the numbers in the LIV deal — reported to be more than $300 million — were too much to resist.
“When I said that, I fully meant it and it was true,” Rahm said of those prior comments. “Now, when they slap you with a large amount of money in your face, your feelings do change. I try not to be a materialistic person, but I do owe it to my family as well to set them up for success the best I can, and having kids I think changed that quite a bit. So the money is a part of it, I’m not going to lie.”
Rahm, 29, also said that his 2023 Masters win, which provides him a guaranteed spot in multiple future majors, factored into his decision to leave the PGA for LIV Golf.
“Winning the Masters was a huge step towards maybe thinking about it,” Rahm told Breakthrough. “Being exempt from majors, knowing that most likely you can play the Masters for life and the U.S. Open at least until 2031, you know, I’m set with two of those, right, so it was a big determining factor.”
Rahm debuted at LIV Golf Mayakoba last week in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where his bogey-bogey finish knocked him out of the running for a playoff and saw him finish in a tie for third.
Rahm’s new team, Legion XIII, till finished 24 under for the week, four shots ahead of Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC, to lock up the team victory in its LIV Golf debut.