McIlroy calls for Ryder Cup rules change after Masters Champion Jon Rahm deserts PGA Tour to join LIV Golf

The Spaniard, a two-time major winner, is reportedly set to earn upwards of $566.4m as part of the deal

By Reuters

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Former PGA player Jon Rahm poses for a photo after joining LIV Golf in a stunning blow that deepens the divide in golf. - AP
Former PGA player Jon Rahm poses for a photo after joining LIV Golf in a stunning blow that deepens the divide in golf. - AP

Published: Fri 8 Dec 2023, 3:04 PM

The DP World Tour must "rewrite the rules" on eligibility for the Ryder Cup following Jon Rahm's stunning move to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, world number two Rory McIlroy said.

Masters champion Rahm jumped from the PGA Tour to LIV on Thursday in a big-money move which sent another shockwave through the sport.

The two-time major winner is reportedly set to earn upwards of $566.4m as part of the deal .

Rahm's former Ryder Cup team mates Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood were ineligible for Europe's win over the U.S. in the biennial team competition this year after joining LIV Golf and resigning from the Europe-based DP World Tour.

The next Ryder Cup takes place in 2025 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York and McIlroy was in no doubt that Rahm would be there.

Golfer Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, is a strong supporter of the PGA Tour. - AFP File
Golfer Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, is a strong supporter of the PGA Tour. - AFP File

"Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025 so, because of this decision, the European Tour are going to have to rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility," four-time major winner McIlroy told Sky Sports in an interview published on Thursday.

"There's absolutely no question about that - I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team."

McIlroy also voiced his concerns over the future of golf with tours competing to sign elite players.

"You're basically cannibalising yourself as a sport, sort of the same as what boxing has done with all the different organisations and a few other sports have as well," he said.

"To me, having all the best golfers under the one umbrella is the best way forward because I think that's really what the public wants."

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Rahm had initially ruled out joining LIV since its inaugural season in 2022.

"As you can see now it's official. This is me finally saying after all the rumours, some of them were true, and I am officially joining LIV Golf," the 29-year-old Spaniard told Fox News.

"It's not an easy decision. I've had a very successful career and I'm happy. There are a lot of things that LIV Golf have to offer which were very enticing, starting with team golf."


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