The new indoor golf league created by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy has its first high-profile departure. Jon Rahm, the charismatic two-time major winner who is widely seen as one of golf's future icons, is no longer listed on TGL's website or social media as a participant in the league's upcoming season. TGL officials confirmed the separation early Thursday morning.
"Jon is one of the most talented players in the game and we will miss him during the inaugural TGL season," TGL said in a statement released to Yahoo Sports. "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. TGL will name a new player to fill the 24-player roster soon."
Speculation swirled about the reasons for Rahm's departure. It's entirely possible that Rahm, who lives in Arizona, did not want to commute to Florida weekly for an indoor golf season that will last into the spring. At the other extreme, LIV Golf officials contacted by Yahoo Sports declined to offer a comment on Rahm.
Shortly after TGL's announcement, Rahm released a statement of his own, which indicated his reasons were personal rather than professional:
I am sad to confirm that I will not be participating in the first TGL season. 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 envolved and may the best team win!
— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) November 2, 2023
"I am sad to confirm that I will not be participating in the first TGL season," he tweeted. "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 envolved [sic] and may the best team win!"
TGL, which announced its format earlier this week, will begin play in January. Team golf matches will play out over the course of two hours at an indoor facility in Palm Beach, Florida. Five of the six teams have announced ownership groups, and two players have already been announced as team members: Justin Thomas (Atlanta) and Collin Morikawa (Los Angeles).