Rahm's team lands Hatton, top-10 amateur Surratt

Rahm's team lands Hatton, top-10 amateur Surratt

Not only is Jon Rahm welcoming newly signed Tyrrell Hatton for his new LIV Golf team, Rahm also is plucking one of the top players in college golf.

Tennessee sophomore Caleb Surratt will forgo the remainder of his college eligibility and turn professional in time for LIV’s season opener, which begins Friday in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Surratt, who has an NIL deal with Callaway, will be one of three additional signings to Rahm’s four-man squad, which will be called Legion XIII GC and also feature Hatton, ranked No. 16 in the Official World Golf Ranking, recent Promotions qualifier Kieran Vincent, who graduated from Liberty two summers ago.

“The opportunity to turn pro and be a part of Jon Rahm’s team is truly a special opportunity that is a great fit for me. I’m excited about the chance to compete and begin my professional career here in Mayakoba,” Surratt said in a statement.

Added Rahm: “We’ve come a long way in a short period of time and are extremely proud of the team and brand we are building. As we were developing the team’s brand it became clear that I wanted to fight alongside a group of guys who aligned perfectly with what the team stands for. Tyrrell is a fierce competitor, proven champion, and of course my Ryder Cup teammate. Caleb is one of the brightest next gen stars of the game. And Kieran is a steady, talented ball striker who earned his promotion to LIV and is elevating his game every day.”

Surratt is currently ranked No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and is considered by many to be a top-5 professional prospect. He was a member of this year’s victorious U.S. Walker Cup team, which followed a freshman year at Tennessee that featured two wins, including the SEC individual title, among seven top-10s and first-team All-America honors, the first such recognition in program history. This past fall, he was runner-up at Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish Classic, though no other top-10s in four starts (he withdrew after an opening 67 at the Vols’ home event because of illness).

"I am so proud to see Caleb’s determined work pay off for him and [him] take the next step into the professional ranks," Tennessee head coach Brennan Webb said. "Our biggest role as a program is to prepare our players for the next step in their careers on and off the course, and Caleb is definitely ready to take advantage of this incredible opportunity he has earned. His immediate impact on our program will be felt for many years to come and I am grateful for the opportunity to coach a special player and special young man during his time on Rocky Top. Like everyone at Tennessee Golf, I am proud that Caleb is a VFL and look forward to watching his career progress at the highest levels."

Prior to college, Surratt was a standout junior, winning the Junior PGA and Western Junior, both in 2021, while also finishing runner-up at the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Surratt was committed to play in the DP World Tour's Dubai Desert Classic a couple weeks ago. However, his name disappeared from the field list just days before the event and without any withdrawal announcement. It would've been Surratt's sixth world-ranked start. He tied for 65th at the 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship on the PGA Tour and shared 35th at last year's NV5 Invitational on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Surratt marks LIV’s third high-profile amateur signing since the league’s inception two years ago, following Spaniards Eugenio Chacarra and David Puig, both All-Americans – at Oklahoma State and Arizona State, respectively – who left school with eligibility remaining to join LIV.

Hatton's signing was first reported on Monday by The Telegraph. His deal was worth a reported to be worth around £50 million.

In explaining the decision behind the team name, Legion XIII, Rahm said, "I wanted to go down the warrior spirit mythology side for the team's name. The term loyalty is very important for me. I think it embodies the warrior spirit through its decisiveness and ready-for-battle mindset. During the Roman Empire, there was the iconic Legion XIII Gemina in Caesar’s army. They believed in the credo of faithful loyalty.”