Rahm wins the sporting hyprocrit award as huge LIV move exposes golf respect
It is the time of year for sporting awards so let’s hand one over to Jon Rahm. The shiny new bauble on the LIV tree is the clear winner of 2023’s prize for sporting hypocrisy.
Rahm was the golfer who said he could not be bought. He had enough money, he said, and he was not a greedy man. Another $400m was not going to change his lifestyle, he said. Then along came that $550m offer from the desert and, err, hang on a minute. The screeching sound of the Rahm U-turn was loud enough to blow the eardrums.
All that guff about his love and respect for golf history? Exposed as hogwash.
He can dress his departure up how he likes, with help from the LIV signing stock phrase crib sheet – ‘grow the game’, ‘embrace innovation’ etc etc – but everyone knows it is all about the money.
The World No 3 can point to his loss of faith in the PGA Tour’s leadership – and there is certainly some validity in that – but in the end this boils down to nothing more and nothing less than a cash grab on a grand scale.
For LIV it is a huge coup. Rahm is one of the best golfers in the world and one of its most forthcoming personalities. He is the Masters champion for goodness sake.
But for Rahm it is a move which only makes sense in one respect. The health of his bank balance.
We know he dislikes the LIV format – three rounds instead of four and a shotgun start – because he is on record saying so. We know he backs tournaments with cut lines.
We know his preference is to play against the best players in the world in events that have genuine substance.
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Yet he has thrown his lot in with an organisation that is, in legacy terms, entirely irrelevant. None of LIV’s events matter.
Colossal sums are won at each of them – rich men grow richer – but nobody is invested. Nobody cares. Nobody watches.
The viewing figures are pitiful in the United States compared to the PGA Tour. There is not even a broadcast deal in Europe.
LIV Golf is a sporting black hole from which no light escapes. We know it exists, we just cannot see it.
Yet that is where Rahm is headed.
Enjoy your riches Jon but spare us the morality lectures in future.
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