Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 20, 2021 in San Diego, California.

Sean M. Haffey | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

According to numerous reports on Thursday, golf superstar Jon Rahm is preparing to leave the PGA Tour and turn to Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Rahm, who won the Masters in April and is ranked No. NBC Sports, the world’s third-largest player, could be announced as the newest addition to the LIV golf league as early as Thursday afternoon, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, NBC Sports reported Thursday.

Such a move would be the latest blockbuster development in the long and tumultuous saga of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. The two leagues have until December 31 to decide the fate of their proposed combination.

There is much speculation in the golf world that a deal with Rahm could be part of a strategy by LIV to pressure the PGA Tour into agreeing to the merger.

LIV Golf responded to CNBC’s request for comment with an automated message.

ESPN reported Thursday that Rahm’s contract could last for three years and be worth more than $300 million. In comparison, former PGA golfer Phil Mickelson signed a $200 million deal with LIV in 2022. Rahm could also get a stake in a new team in the league as LIV recruits more PGA Tour players, ESPN added.

Last month, PGA announced that its league members would be given the opportunity to participate in the new company formed following the completion of the PGA-LIV Golf merger.

LIV has repeatedly poached PGA players, creating a particular point of contention for other golfers in the sport. Rory McIlroy, world number 1. 2 player said in July that he would retire if LIV Golf was “the last place to play golf in the world.”

The PGA Tour declined to comment on news of a deal with Rahm. An agency that represented Rahm also declined to comment. Another firm representing Rahm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal initially reported that Rahm was working on a deal with LIV.

Source : www.cnbc.com

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