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Jon Rahm dismisses ‘report’ he has joined LIV

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Like it or loathe it, the formation and continual existence of LIV Golf has meant many players finding a voice.

Whilst some have never been short of a view they cared to share in public, the likes of Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm have raised their profile on television coverage and social media over the past few months, not afraid to air their views, and often being embroiled in public confrontation.

With the profile of names going over to the Greg Norman-led tour now including Open Champion Cam Smith, speculation continues as to the next set of names that may defect. McIlory, of course, looks an absolute no-no to make that move, but it hasn’t stopped the rumor mill.

Yesterday, LIV Golf Insider tweeted that, “My #LIVGolf source just confirmed with me John Rahm to LIV INV is indeed a GO. I’ve never been wrong about a LIV signing. Just look at my track record. PGA Tour is on the ropes.”

Let’s ignore for a moment that the poster has just 414 followers and spelt the former world number one’s first name incorrectly — responses were as expected, particularly from Rahm himself.

The Spaniard, who posted a 10-under 62 when a fast-finishing runner-up at last weekend’s DP World Tour flagship event at Wentworth, was keen to get his reply in.

Despite saying he feels the DP World Tour turned its back on Garcia and yet that he was disappointed with LIV players taking spots from ‘legitimate’ qualifiers for the BMW PGA, it appears he is going nowhere.

His reply was most definite, “you and your source are wrong.”

Whilst the PGA Tour rewarded social media exposure with the PiP program last year, that element is of less importance this year with the new schedule ramping up its financial reward.

Speculation continues that a top-10 player will be making the move, with some said to be unhappy at the formation of a ‘Rory/Tiger’ tour and perhaps the way the DP World Tour is handing the entry, or lack of, of revel players.

For now, though, that list can remove Rahm’s name.

As one user said:

“Wrong, but louder.”

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  1. Ian Poulter's Socks

    Sep 17, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Do it Jon. Or spend the rest of your career getting used by the Rory McElroy and sucking Jay’s toes.

  2. Poopy McFarts

    Sep 15, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I heard he is joining. Someone told me.

  3. Sadie Inward

    Sep 15, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Do it Jon. Remember what they took from you to make you an example.

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19th Hole

LIV pro dropped by two major sponsors after decision to join breakaway tour

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It may be only six events into existence, but some LIV players have found their sponsors dropping away quickly once they establish their ties to the Greg Norman-led series.

Amongst many others, Rocket Mortgage, Royal Bank of Canada and UPS have severed links to various players whilst Phil Mickelson – remember where this all started? – has found himself now devoid of sponsorship from all of Amstel, KPMG and Workday.

Now according to News9, surprise LIV player Anirban Lahiri has found himself dropped by two of his main sponsors, just days ahead of his third appearance on the tour, in Bangkok.

The Indian star, surely recruited for his mass appeal to the most populus democracy in the world, has already banked close to $2 million dollars in two starts following a decision to “have a life”:

However, the 35-year-old has now had his sponsorship deals severed by both Hero MotoCorp and Mastercard, two of the largest corporations on the continent, the former closely linked with anti-LIV golf legend Tiger Woods and his annual Hero World Challenge.

 

Ironically, the last of Lahiri’s seven professional victories came at the Hero Indian Open in 2015, but since then he admitted he has struggled with his work-life balance.

“It’s a new chapter in my life and one that I am really looking forward to. I have found the whole concept of LIV interesting and alluring,” Lahiri admitted to the Hindustan Times.

He added, “I see this as an effort to correct my work-life balance. I see this as a move back closer to my family and friends. I see this as something that gives me more time to enjoy my kids growing up. I know how consumed I was with my golf when Tisya (eldest daughter) was born and I was struggling to keep my card on the Tour at that time.”

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‘Stop assuming you have all the answers’ – Olympic champ is the latest Australian to blast Greg Norman

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Sitting around a table, Team Australia look one happy family.

Compatriots Cam Smith, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman and Wade Ormsby join LIV CEO Greg Norman to answer questions and points sent in by LIV viewers. After the most recent Open championship winner tells his ‘boss’ that he’s “doing a great job”, they unite with a toast of beer cans.

All looks rosy in the camp, but not every Aussie feels the same.

One of Australia’s most notable athletes, Kieren Perkins, told the National Press Club that Norman should “stop and listen to the people around you,” and stop “assuming you have all the answers.”

The two-time gold Olympic gold medallist and multiple champion at the 1994 Commonwealth Games became the new CEO of the Australian Sports Commission in December 2021, overseeing Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, and recently commented that Australian sport needs to be a societal leader and be more inclusive of minority groups.

The publication asked Perkins what message he would give to Norman, head of the LIV organization that has received plenty of criticism over its ties to Saudi Arabia and its disruption of the sport’s ruling bodies.

“Just stop and listen to the people around you, Greg, and think about some of the stuff that’s being told to you,” said the Sport Australia Hall of Famer. “See if actually there’s some value in it, instead of assuming you have all the answers.”

Whilst empathizing with Norman’s view that he wishes to ‘grow the game’ Perkins has doubts about the methods used:  “I understand and appreciate the need to disrupt sport and make it better, and the opportunity to create more competitive pathways that help athletes receive the benefit they deserve, [but] opening the door for more inclusion is incredibly important.”

LIV Golf plays round six of an initial eight event season at Bangkok from Friday, with the season-ending Team Championship at Trump National Doral Miami set for the end of this month.

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19th Hole

Report: LIV likely to win battle for world ranking points thanks to ‘strategic alliance’ with minor tour

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According to the Telegraph, LIV Golf has found a path to securing OWGR points.

The report indicates that LIV is forming a “strategic alliance” with the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Tour. In theory, this would allow the players to earn world ranking points starting this week at LIV Bangkok.

In turn, the alliance with LIV will give the struggling MENA Tour a path to relevance. The current OWGR rule indicates that a tour must have the majority of it’s events with a cut. It would seem that the LIV events will be the in the minority of events plays, with the regular MENA Tour events starting to ramp back up after LIV Bangkok.

“No Laying Up” holds the opinion that this move by LIV won’t grant them OWGR points right away.

The OWGR has not released a statement as of yet regarding this turn of events.

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