Jon Rahm officially joined LIV Golf Thursday, joining Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in spurning the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed series.
The reigning Masters champion made the announcement on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” wearing a black and white letterman jacket with “LIV Golf” emblazoned across his right shoulder.
The No. 3 golfer in the world stunned golf fans who likely believed he was going to stay on the PGA Tour.
He touted the organization’s history and his own legacy just last year while chiding LIV for its 54-hole tournaments. Those days are clearly over.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Masters champion Jon Rahm throws out the first pitch during Game 4 of the World Series at Chase Field Oct. 31, 2023. (Rob Schumacher/The Republic/USA Today Network)
“It is not an easy decision because I’ve had a really successful career, and I’ve been very happy. But there’s a lot of things that LIV Golf has to offer that were very, very enticing, starting with team golf,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “Being part of a team is something that’s been really big for me throughout my career.
“I was part of the Spanish national team from the age of 14 till I graduated college. I was part of the Arizona State golf team. And you know, as a pro, you don’t have that chance very often. And if you are European or American, you barely have that chance, right?
“So, it’s something that is very, very fun to play for something more than just yourself. And simply the growth that LIV Golf has brought to the game of golf. Right? It’s something fresh, something new, something with a ton of potential and opportunity and something I’m really excited about.”
Money may also have been a motivating factor.
ESPN reported earlier in the day that Rahm’s deal was worth $300 million over three years. Rahm wouldn’t comment on the reported numbers but doubled down on his claim he doesn’t play golf for the money.
Jon Rahm makes an eagle from a greenside bunker on the 15th hole during the second round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale Feb 10, 2023. (Rob Schumacher/The Republic/USA Today Network)
“Yeah, the money is great. Obviously, it is wonderful. But what I’ve said before is true. I do not play golf for the money. I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf. But as a husband, as a father and as a family man, I have a duty to my family to give them the best opportunities and the most amount of resources possible. And that’s where that comes in.
“Obviously, it is a factor, and it was an important one, obviously, in this decision. But there’s many other things, like I mentioned earlier, that make it so exciting. Once you get past that, the love of the game and wanting to grow it to a global market, being part of the team, being a captain, hopefully being a leader to teammates. It’s something that is so, so special that, you know, it makes me want to work harder than I have until now to actually prove myself.
JON RAHM TO JUMP TO LIV GOLF MORE THAN YEAR AFTER SAYING ‘HEART’ WAS WITH PGA TOUR: REPORTS
“And, you know, being a European and growing up being a fan of athletics, that will allow, hopefully, some kids in the future growing up in Spain … to be part of this team that I’m going to build, right? (It is) something that hopefully I’m related to for a very long time. Hopefully, until I die, I can make it something very special.”
Rahm pushed back on the notion LIV was buying a sport, saying nobody “was forcing us to do this,” adding players are making their own choice to make the jump.
Crushers GC team captain Bryson Dechambeau celebrates with teammates Paul Casey, Charles Howell III and Anirban Lahiri after winning the team championship during the final round of the LIV Golf Miami golf tournament at Trump National Doral in Doral, Fla., Oct. 22, 2023. (Sam Navarro/USA Today Sports)
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“It was a choice for me and my family and the better of our future,” he said.
Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.