Rory McIlroy debunks Jon Rahm, LIV Golf rumors amid TGL breakup

Jon Rahm’s abrupt departure from TGL, the indoor golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, led to rumors regarding the Spaniard’s future in professional golf.

Many wondered if this signaled a move to LIV Golf.

Yet, McIlroy, who appeared at a Boston Common Golf press conference on Monday, squashed that notion.

“I spoke to Jon a couple [of] days ago and would be very very surprised if that were to happen,” McIlroy said, per Rick Gehman of CBS Sports.

“I’m pretty confident Jon is a PGA TOUR player.”

Rahm had an incredible 2022-23 season, which included a victory at Augusta National, three other wins on the PGA Tour, and a runner-up finish at The Open Championship.

He helped lead Team Europe to victory at the Ryder Cup too.

But the Spaniard has two young children at home in Scottsdale, Arizona, hence his decision to withdraw from TGL.

“I am sad to confirm that I will not be participating in the first TGL season,” Rahm said on Nov. 2. “While I still think it’s a great opportunity, right now, it would require a level of commitment that I can’t offer. Best of luck to everyone involved, and may the best team win!”

With TGL based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Rahm would have to travel across the country for matches, which begin in January on ESPN.

“We will miss him during the inaugural TGL season,” a TGL spokesperson said Thursday.

“We understand that players have to balance a lot of different facets of their professional and personal lives and respect Jon’s choice and wish him well.”

Rahm may be a PGA Tour loyalist, but that does not matter to those in charge of LIV Golf. The Saudi-backed circuit has approached Rahm about future playing opportunities, according to renowned author and golf writer Alan Shipnuck:

“Rahm’s been a long-standing lust object for LIV, and no doubt the Mickelsons (his pal Phil & former manager Tim) are in his ear,” Shipnuck posted on X.

“But Rahm’s the rare athlete who is not voracious for money. He cares about legacy. The Tour is a winning formula for him so I’m dubious he would leave.

Indeed, Rahm cares much more about legacy than anything else.

He has repeatedly said that he does not play for money but for his pursuit of greatness within the sport.

Nevertheless, Rahm appears unlikely to bounce to LIV Golf, as McIlroy alluded to on Monday.

But as golf fans know—especially in 2023—things can change quickly.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.