It’s about to be a very merry Christmas for Jon Rahm and LIV Golf, but the future of professional golf looks rather uncertain entering 2024.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported Rahm is leaving the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf, with an announcement expected as soon as this week. Rahm, the No. 3 golfer in the world and reigning Masters champion, is the biggest get yet for the Saudi-backed renegade golf venture that has spent the better part of the last two years picking off some of the game’s most recognizable players.

The WSJ report did not have financial terms, but it did report Rahm’s deal is expected to be a multi-year agreement. Previous reports indicated Rahm could earn close to $600 million for joining LIV.

Accounting for both the combination of playing prime and name value, this is LIV’s biggest transaction. He is unquestionably one of the best players in the world, and he’s certainly in the tier of famous golfers just below a level reserved for only Tiger Woods and perhaps Phil Mickelson.

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Now, with Rahm on board, LIV now has three of the last five major winners with Rahm joining 2023 PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and 2022 Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith, who won The Open at St. Andrews last season.

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The long-term ramifications of this sort of move are still unknown. The PGA Tour and Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a shocking, potentially landscape-altering partnership over the summer. That, however, appears to be nothing more than a piece of paper at this point, with the two sides working toward a Dec. 31 to finalize an agreement. How this Rahm deal figures into that equation remains to be seen.

Perhaps it is still some sort of a leverage move on the part of the PIF as negotiations go down to the deadline. Losing Rahm is a major blow to the Tour on its own, but it could also open the door for even more players to leave with Rahm essentially opening the floodgates.

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Then again, the two sides could reach some sort of a deal that effectively ends LIV and brings everyone back under the same tent, although that comes with its own set of complications, all of which are going to be wildly awkward for those involved.

Featured image via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images