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Based on the late-night memo PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan shared with players last week, it appears that one of the key points regarding the proposed merger between the Tour and the Saudi PIF is that LIV golfers would have some sort of avenue to return to the Tour.
Having that option to return and actually wanting to return are two different things, however, and Jon Rahm doesn’t see any LIV golfers wanting to make their way back.
Rahm recently joined the Golf Sin Etiquetas podcast to talk about the current unknown state of the professional golf world. The Spaniard explained that he got a call just two minutes before the surprise announcement about the merger before diving into the future of LIV Golf and its players.
“Two minutes before the announcement came out someone from the PGA Tour contacted me and told me everything. I thought it was a joke. And this is what they should have done from the beginning. Instead they generated division then decided to come together again,” Jon Rahm said, as translated by Flushing It.
“I hope they reach an agreement. I think LIV will continue, from what I understand when I talked to their players, none of them intend to return to the PGA Tour. They left for a reason.”
If LIV Golf exists in the future as it does today, it’s hard to find a ‘why’ for any of its players to make a return to the Tour. LIV players play less golf and have the potential to get paid more than what the Tour can offer.
The only hiccup for LIV players rests in the hands of the major championships and the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system. When or if major exemptions run out for certain LIV players they’d be left with extremely difficult routes to get into major championships with the OWGR not awarding points to LIV Golf for the time being.
There’s also the potential that LIV Golf completely folds, in which LIV players will have no choice but to return to the Tour if they want to continue playing professional golf at the highest level.