Jon Rahm - LIV Golf

I think the magnitude of this potential move deserves it’s own thread.

This is crushing for the PGA Tour, obviously, but also really bad for fans of the professional game. A player like Jon Rahm, who undoubtedly is on the path to being an all-time great, going to play on a “tour” where the actual golf is mostly out of the public eye due to the terrible and boring format, it’s not good for anybody.

I’m not sure what else to say. What positives could possibly come of this? I am struggling to see any.

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Yeah, I’m not seeing any positives. It really, really sucks right now that Rahm is doing this. I’d love to hear the kind of information he is getting about LIV; does he not realize that nobody watches it? This is a cynical take, but I’m guessing almost every pro golfer’s agent is constantly talking with someone connected to LIV, waiting for their guy to have a moment of weakness and think about taking the LIV cash. Rahm’s agent is presumably making millions off this deal.

As bad as I feel about this right now, I think this will be the beginning of the end for LIV. It’s not exactly a good sign that they are forking over a few hundred million for another player, it’s clearly a hail mary. And when Rahm fails to increase ratings or interest (and my strong hunch is he won’t… because LIV is spending their offseason trying to poach players instead of trying to improve their product), LIV will have nothing left to do.

If I was the PGA Tour, I would honestly just say fuck it at this point and go on their own. If they have to decrease purses, so be it. They will lose more players, but they need to believe in their product, the infrastructure they have around it, and the entire ecosystem they’ve built over the last few decades.

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I had 2 thoughts on this. First, I think that had they not come to a framework agreement, that we may not even be talking about this. By doing some sort of “merger”, they kinda gave legitimacy to LIV. Had it still been an us against them type deal, I do wonder if Rahm would have done it. Also, the secrecy and not involving the player members in that discussion was super shitty.

At this point, I wish the PGA would just open to private investor groups, and tear up any agreement with LIV. They are once again trying to buy/force their way into a partnership.

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Matt hits the nail on the head about the Tour needing to stand behind their product. This is where they have gone awry. Their biggest advantage is that LIV’s product sucks and the Tour’s does not.

They have already made their product materially worse (smaller/no-cut at big events), in addition to unsustainably raising purses and bonus payouts. This has been done at the expense of anything and everything else, angering factions of players, tournament sponsors, etc in an effort to appease players.

Well guess what you morons, your opponent has limitless funds. You cannot sustainably compete in the same arena in that regard. Between on-course earnings, FexEx Cup bonuses, PIF payouts, Rahm probably earned about $25m this season? And he is going to be gone, because $500m will always beat whatever the PGA Tour can do.

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. Believe in the product and let that guide you. Hopefully it isn’t too late.

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Matt hit the nail on the head a few months ago when he said that pro golf is generally pretty boring to watch and that exciting moments do happen but you cannot manufacture them.

I’m going to go be a bit controversial here and say that the LIV Team format is actually a great idea, somewhat poorly executed but if people got behind it, it would actually be really cool and make the pro golf ecosystem a bit more dynamic. If the PGA Tour had done something like this years ago it would probably be all we talk about, with individual player performance also being important but less of a drawcard.

Cheering for an individual player is great, and we can cheer them on because we affiliate with them on a personal level or whatever, but when people group together and are part of a team, its more exciting. Ryder cup etc…

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Can’t believe the guy who tried to cheat while in contention at Memorial took the money and ran!

Agree that there are aspects of LIV that are compelling (playing events in Australia, England, Spain, NYC, Boston, Chicago, as well as having a team component), but unfortunately those good ideas have not be able to withstand:

  1. horrible execution
  2. the insanely lame and uncompelling group of people that they have assembled as a tour

In general, I would love to see golf be more competitive, with more ways and things to win, with constant relegation and promotion, higher stakes from week to week in terms of incentives for making the cut, punishment for missing, etc. A well designed team component could do this.

Personally I don’t agree that pro golf has to be boring most of the time, or that lots of boring golf is a necessary precondition for a few exciting moments to emerge. Some of the most exciting golf I remember watching from this last year was Justin Thomas at the Wyndham, trying to make the top 75. Was it because there was an unlikely or dramatically brilliant sequence of holes? No, it was because he **actually cared and was trying hard to put the ball in the hole, and you could tell. ** Similarly, in the Ryder cup, almost every hole is exciting, because the people care!

To me, the sport just needs to try to embrace competition, and make everything matter more.


EDIT: LIV is going to find out exactly how important Jon Rahm is in terms of moving the needle for TV ratings, which is zero.

EDIT2: Hearing rumors that it wasn’t about the money for Rahm, apparently he is upset about finishing outside the top 3 for OSS-POY in 2023, and that is why he is leaving.

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Reports breaking today that Tony Finau and Tyrrell Hatton will also head to LIV.

Limitless. Funds.

The Tour is going to have to do some sort of deal. LIV can just keep going after players and add more teams. Now they may be too inept to pull this off but if they gain enough leverage they can eventually change their format to qualify for OWGR points and then the Tour might actually be in some trouble.

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Yeah. Kind of sucks as a fan when you realize none of the players actually give a shit about the sport.

Edit: I’m still all-in on tour telling PIF to F off. Another year of LIV product floundering despite additional stars will do some damage I think.

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Stumbled across this elsewhere-on-the-internet while discussing the net-present-value of Ohtani’s contract and couldn’t resist sharing. I think it gives some perspective on the importance of Rahm to the wider sporting world.

LOL!

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I’ll just say I’m the one idiot that currently likes the PGA tour product. Gambling helps. But I will watch Webb Simpson play on PGA Tour live at the 3M or whatever.

I find the LIV shotgun start thing to be completely unwatchable. I can’t tell who is ahead, I cant keep up with someone’s tee shot to their second shot, they feel pressure to show me too many guys at once, and there are two leaderboards. And I can’t do the mental math of okay well they are one behind but they have a driveable par 4 and an easy par 5 left.

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This is exactly the issue. It is impossible to properly follow along. The example I always give is the 18th at the masters. You know when you see that camera view up the 18th that it’s this players last chance at a score. I haven’t got an effing clue with LIV, even if I knew the courses better.

The format is broken. Then add in the boring players, no cut, lack of effort etc etc. Its fundamentally worse to watch and reduces any chance of a narrative or storyline developing over a round, especially on a Sunday. Bleurgh.

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