PGA Tour News: Will Jon Rahm Defend His Trophy at the 2024 Sentry Tournament of Champions?

Published 12/29/2023, 5:30 AM EST

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via Reuters

‘Are LIV Golf players allowed to play on the PGA Tour?’ That is possibly what Jon Rahm’s search history looks like as the Sentry Tournament of Champions is just around the corner. Having started 2023 as champion of the tournament in Kapalua, the year ended with Rahm moving from the PGA Tour to the PIF-backed LIV Golf. And now, as the calendar-year opening tournament of the PGA Tour approaches, questions about his title defense may be haunting the Spaniard.

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The early December move by Rahm from one league to another caused many rumbles in the golf world and may have the capability to shake up the Spaniard’s legacy as well. Will Rahm be playing at the Sentry 2024, where he won last year?

Will Jon Rahm be allowed on the PGA Tour?

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Surprisingly, two LIV Golf players have won the last two editions of The Sentry: Cameron Smith in 2022 and Jon Rahm in 2023. Owing to his later move to LIV Golf, Smith was then denied the right to defend his title as his PGA Tour membership was suspended. Will the World No.3 suffer a similar fate?

The answer is yes. After Rahm announced his LIV Golf deal and confirmed the floating rumors of his departure, the two-time major champion expected that he’d still get to play the PGA Tour and DP World Tour events. The defending champion of the Sentry Tournament expressed his interest in continuing to play in both the Tours and stated, “I can say that I do want to maintain my PGA Tour and DP World status.”

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However, the wish was not granted by the PGA Tour. A few days after Rahm’s move, the Tour notified its players of Rahm’s suspension through a memo. As reported by Sky Sports, it read, “In accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, Jon Rahm has been notified that he is suspended and no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play due to his association with a series of unauthorized tournaments.”

USA Today via Reuters

Hence, Rahm, despite holding the title of defending champion, will not be partaking in The Sentry Tournament.

Watch This Story: ‘Rarely Got to Spend’: Jon Rahm Evokes His Emotional Side While Justifying His LIV Golf Move

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However, there could have been a way for Rahm to defend his title. The catch? It could’ve only happened if the PGA Tour and PIF had come to finalize the merger by the 31st December deadline.

The PIF-PGAT merger delay causes a huge setback for Rahm

The Telegraph reported, “There’s no chance a deal can be announced by the end of this week,” that the PIF-PGA Tour merger, which was supposed to be finalized by the end of December, is most likely going to be delayed. The final details of the deal may take place before the Masters in April, as all the organizations involved work towards the framework of the agreement.

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The unfortunate delay also massively affects Rahm’s chances of defending his titles and playing on the PGA Tour. If the deal had been finalized as touted before, the 11-time PGA Tour winner may have played The Sentry as his LIV Golf schedule also allowed him. With no agreement in sight, Rahm, unfortunately, will not be gracing the Kapalua greens in the upcoming year.

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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran

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From a very young age, I, Huda Khambe, have been striving for excellence, and as a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports, my endeavor has only amplified. Having grown up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag major after major, I couldn?t help but learn more about the intricacies of the sport, and now I combine that knowledge with my inherent storytelling skills and write about the gentleman's sport, bringing news to life for the readers. As a journalist who lives by the motto 'Girls for Girls', I am hellbent on covering the niche aspects of the sport and giving the readers unique insights about the LPGA and women's golf as a whole. Off hours too, my life involves sports of sorts, with me often engrossed in watching livestreams of Valorant and Counterstrike!
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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