‘Jon Rahm sold his career:’ Brandel Chamblee delves into shocking LIV Golf defection

Brandel Chamblee is not a fan of LIV Golf, and that’s putting it lightly. He rarely misses an opportunity to voice his opinion on the PGA Tour’s rival.

Jon Rahm rattled golf on Thursday, announcing his departure to LIV Golf. Of course, Chamblee weighed in on the situation during a Golf Central interview, not holding anything back.

“I feel like a large part of the professional game is experiencing something like Stockholm Syndrome as it relates to being involved with LIV,” Chamblee said. “You look at Jon Rahm’s words in the past and the stark contrast to what he said — what he intimated many times. It was more convenient for him to do this. It’s also clear that he sold his career out.”

Over the last 18 months or so, Rahm has publicly pledged fealty to the PGA Tour, trashed LIV Golf’s format and scoffed at the idea of joining.

Yet, here we are, watching Rahm sign for somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million to leave the PGA Tour.

Chamblee then hinted at a possible problem with the future deal between the two tours.

“This is PIF’s reaction to the PGA Tour courting private equity. It was almost like they were saying, ‘Ok, you’re going to court private equity, we’re going to come down triple-fold.’”

The PGA Tour openly had preliminary discussions with Fenway Sports Group and Endeavor as possible investors this summer.

“This is nothing more than a massive chess game. I’ll be curious to see the wording of Rahm’s engagement with LIV. Is it that he gets to keep the money and play a few LIV events, or does he get to keep the money and fall ball into the fold of the PGA Tour?”

However, Chamblee wasn’t sounding the alarm bells for the PGA Tour.

“Will Jon Rahm’s participation bring more viewership to LIV? Probably will, and to the degree that it does, that’ll hurt a little bit, but I wouldn’t call it devastating,” he said.

Chamblee acknowledged that LIV Golf isn’t going anywhere. They are here to stay. However, he does feel like Rahm undersold himself.

“When you look at Jon Rahm’s career and where he was headed — if it’s $300 million or $400 million or I heard you say $560 million earlier. I would still say he short-sided himself because he did sell his career for… half the price that it would ultimately be worth,” Chamblee said.

He thinks Rahm could have eventually joined the likes of Woods and McIlroy and be worth over a billion dollars.

“If you look at Rahm’s trajectory, what he was capable of doing. At 29 years of age — another 10, 11, 12 years of an 8% win percentage,” Chamblee said. “I don’t think it would shock anybody that he would have eventually been worth a billion or two or three billion dollars given the nature of the escalating purses and money brought into the PGA Tour.”

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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