Jon Rahm to LIV Golf: Shane Lowry ‘not surprised by anything’ after Spaniard’s move

Shane Lowry and Jon Rahm celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup success
Lowry and Rahm helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup with a thrilling win over the United States in Rome in October

Shane Lowry has said he is “not surprised by anything that happens at the minute” as he discussed Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm’s decision to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

World number three Rahm joined the Saudi-funded tour earlier this month.

Before Rahm’s move, the Masters champion and Ireland’s Lowry helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup in Rome.

Lowry said: “It had been rumoured for a while so there’s no smoke without fire, is there?

“We weren’t too surprised in the end, but I’m not surprised by anything that happens at the minute.”

Spain’s Rahm had previously ruled out joining LIV after the PGA Tour’s rival circuit launched in 2022.

The 29-year-old will reportedly earn upwards of £450m ($570m) as part of his deal, but while the two-time major winner’s departure represents a significant blow for the PGA Tour, Lowry remains hopeful the fractured landscape in men’s professional golf will soon be a thing of the past.

In June, the PGA and DP World Tours announced they had a ‘framework agreement’ to merge with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has pledged $2bn (£1.6bn) of support to LIV.

However, the agreement has a deadline of 31 December to be ratified, with the American government examining the PGA Tour’s plans to take massive investment from Saudi Arabia.

“‘Hopeful’ is the word I’d use,” said 2019 Open champion Lowry when asked about what the future of the men’s game looks like.

“I mean, I’m not involved in anything. I just try to worry about my own thing and get on with my own game.

“But I’d be very hopeful that at some stage in the near future we will be back playing the same tournaments together and I think that’s what the world of golf needs.”

‘If we need Rahm to retain Ryder Cup, we probably should have him’

Following Rahm’s move, world number two Rory McIlroy – a staunch critic of LIV – reversed his stance on golfers from the fledgling circuit playing in the Ryder Cup by calling on the Europe-based DP World Tour to rewrite the eligibility rules.

McIlroy had previously said LIV players should not represent Europe in the biennial match against the United States, which will next be held at Bethpage Black in New York in 2025.

“I don’t know what should happen or what could happen,” Lowry said. “The one thing I do know is that I want to be on a winning Ryder Cup team in Bethpage and if we do need Jon Rahm to do that, we probably should have him, but who knows what’s going to happen, who knows what the DP World Tour will do.”

While helping Europe retain the Ryder Cup is one of Lowry’s main goals for 2025, the 36-year-old is gearing up for a big 2024 in which he will aim to add to his major tally and win a medal for Ireland at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Shane Lowry pictured at the Masters earlier this year
Lowry says he has tried to peak for the Masters in recent years and has finished in the top 25 in each of the last four editions, including a tie for third in 2022

Having captured the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush in 2019, Lowry says he has attempted to peak for the Masters in April over the past couple of years. He intends to tailor his schedule in a similar fashion in 2024 as he bids to become the first Irishman to win at Augusta.

“That would be nice if we could get a green jacket back home in Ireland,” said Lowry, speaking at the launch of the 2024 Irish Open, which will take place at Royal County Down in September.

“That would be very, very special. It’s a bucket list thing and something you want to achieve as a professional golfer.”

Lowry, whose last individual win came at the BMW PGA Championship in September 2022, added: “I feel like I’m very motivated going forward. I’ve got a lot to achieve still and hopefully have a few more good years left in me.

“The second week in April is first and foremost. It’s at the front of all of our minds. My goal is to build towards that. I’ve tried to get myself peaking for then and I feel like I’ve done a good job with that, playing some of my best golf at the Masters over the last couple of years.

“That’s my plan. I don’t know if it’ll work but we’ll give it a go and see what happens.”

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