Jon Rahm, the reigning Masters champion and two-time major winner, announced on Thursday he has officially left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. It is a move sure to change the landscape of golf, with LIV players now owning seven of the previous 15 major championships won.
Numerous stars of the sport reacted in various ways. Brooks Koepka is understandably eager for Rahm to join. Jason Day was sorry to see him go while Justin Rose put the future of the PGA Tour in question.
Hilariously, Max Homa showcased his prognostication skills, correctly predicting what Rahm would be wearing when he made his announcement.
But maybe the most surprising reaction came from Rory McIlroy.
Following the news, McIlroy joined Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir.
“As someone that’s played on three Ryder Cup teams with Jon… Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025. Because of this decision, the European Tour are going to have to rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility. There’s certainly no question about that,” McIlroy said.
“I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team.”
He would go on to share his love for the reigning Masters champ, both as a person and a golfer.
“I have nothing but good things to say about Jon. I respect the hell out of him as a golfer and he seems like he wants to live his life the right way. He wants to be a good dad, he wants to be a good husband.”
“The thing I have realized is you can’t judge someone for making a decision they feel is the best thing for them.”
It’s a bit of a departure from McIlroy’s previous sentiments about LIV and its players. But as the four-time major champ alluded to, the landscape of golf is changing drastically. LIV does not appear to be going anywhere, and some would argue it never was.
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social media platforms.