Shane Lowry expressed a lack of surprise regarding Jon Rahm’s recent move to LIV Golf. While Rahm had previously supported the PGA Tour, his shift to LIV Golf is part of the ongoing subtle change that we have seen in the sport since the commencement of the LIV Golf Invitational last year June.
The surprise framework agreement in June aimed to bring unity to the golf world, involving the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which supports LIV Golf. However, the secretive nature of the negotiations drew criticism from PGA players, many of whom turned down huge amounts of money to switch to the LIV league. Rahm was reportedly one of those players, and his move was another much-talked-about incident, given his status in the PGA before he left.
Lowry, who spoke at the launch of the Irish Open, acknowledges the lack of surprise in Rahm’s decision. He said, “I’m not surprised by anything that happens at the minute. It had been rumored for a while, so there’s no smoke without fire, is there?”
The golf community witnessed a shift with the introduction of the Saudi-backed league in 2022, prompting notable players like Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Sergio Garcia to leave the PGA Tour for LIV’s events. Rahm’s departure was another significant development in this ongoing transformation, as he was the highest-ranked player to switch to the league.
Despite the uncertainties and changes, Rahm expressed hope that players could continue to compete across tours. Lowry shared this optimism, as he stated, “I’d be very hopeful that at some stage in the near future, we will be back playing the same tournaments together, and I think that’s what the world of golf needs.”
With Rahm’s move to the PGA now, we can expect more players to make the switch in the coming weeks, especially with the start of the new LIV season. What we are expecting to see again is some sort of compromise between the PGA Tour and LIV league to allow players to freely participate in events happening in the two leagues without repercussions.