The news of Jon Rahm’s signing for LIV has caused an earthquake in the world of golf, leaving players, fans, managers and journalists perplexed and intrigued. Everyone is wondering what the effects of this decision will be on the future of the sport, which is being shaped behind the scenes these days.
Experts agree that it will have a significant impact on the current negotiations between the PGA Tour, LIV and DP World Tour to resolve the schism between them, with a deadline of the 31st of this month.
Jon Rahm, future
Recently, Tiger Woods, the new leader of the board representing players within the PGA, sent a memo to his colleagues informing them that the joint company between the American tour and the Saudi Super League would be made up of the players themselves.
This means that, in a model never before seen in world sport, players will receive shares and share in the benefits of the competition for which they play. It is as if Novak Djokovic received a piece of the ATP’s audiovisual rights pie.
Woods also assures that measures have been taken to prevent such an important decision from being made without the prior approval of the members, something that has caused great wear and tear on commissioner Jay Monahan and left a taste of betrayal among golfers, perhaps one of Rahm’s motivations for making this decision, although he has always supported Monahan.
In short, the world of golf is in a true period of change and the next few days will be crucial to see how the negotiations between the different actors involved develop. The entity in question would be mainly financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), whose inexhaustible resources in petrodollars ensure it a prominent position in the governance of the PGA and the DP World Tour.
Although the circuits would continue to operate independently, a global calendar would be established that would allow players who left the LIV to return to compete without any penalty or corresponding fine. If this is confirmed, it would be a beneficial situation for Rahm, who, after achieving financial benefits, would have the freedom to continue moving between the different circuits according to his agenda.
The LIV will now sit in a dominant position in the talks, as there has not been any move as impactful as this by high caliber players like Dustin Johnson, Koepka, Mickelson and others. Although it is unclear whether Rahm will be able to generate interest in a model that has gained more notoriety for its controversy than for product quality, the years separating the American rival in terms of history and prestige cannot be ignored.
Currently, no conventional television channel in Spain has purchased the rights to LIV. What is evident is that the PGA has lost a lot of shine, although it still has figures such as the convalescent Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, who has been saddened and astonished by this matter.
“I’m going to miss the weekly competition with him. I want Rahm to be in the next Ryder Cup team, and if necessary, the rules must be rewritten,” said the Northern Irishman, moderate in this dispute and now in favor of leaving behind differences and move forward together.
Source: Tennis World USA