Jon Rahm may have become "sick and tired" of being used as a "puppet" by the PGA Tour as he closes in on a move to LIV Golf, according to former amateur golf sensation Zane Scotland.

Reigning Masters champion Rahm's silence has been deafening while the Spaniard has been at the centre of rampant speculation that he will join the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway tour for the 2024 season in a deal rumoured to be worth in the region of £450million.

The move would be a huge coup for LIV and an enormous blow for the PGA Tour amid fears of a second exodus of top players turning its back on the American-based circuit to join LIV, which lured the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau when it launched in 2022.

Scotland, who became the youngest Englishman to qualify for The Open in 1999 aged 18 before injuries from a serious car crash four years later inhibited his career, believes world number-three Rahm's supposed desire to turn his back on the golf establishment is not only motivated by finances but also his frustration with the management of the PGA Tour and his voice not being heard in the same way as the likes of Rory McIlroy.

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Many players were angered when it was revealed in June that the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls LIV, had entered into a framework agreement to merge and create a new governing body for elite golf. The news caught many players off guard after the PGA Tour had taken a hardline stance in forbidding its players from competing in the new league.

Scotland, 41, told the Sky Sports Golf Podcast: "Has he become disillusioned with what's happened behind closed doors with the tours, with the commissioners? Is this a point where he has gone 'You know what, I've had enough of this now' and says, 'You're all looking after yourselves, so I'm going to look after myself'?

"I'm guessing but I think there's an element of Rahm being sick and tired of being told one thing and being used like a puppet and then you [the PGA Tour] just pull off in a different direction.

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"He has been quite open that he doesn't feel heard. He doesn't like that Rory maybe gets a bit more attention and is heard a bit more than he is. There's that part to it. He seems like he has had enough and he's going to do what he wants to do."

Scotland also admits the financial package offered by LIV to Rahm, 29, may be too good to turn down. The two-time major winner, who was a talisman for Europe in their Ryder Cup triumph two months ago, has been a top target for the Saudis and they are willing to part with an enormous amount of cash in return for the prestige and interest Rahm would generate.

"I don't care who you are, £400m or anything around that number is going to have a bearing on your thoughts because a year ago he said 'I've got enough money to retire now, I don't play for money', but when I think you get to that level of making money, there is money to retire and then there is money where you start looking at different things," Scotland added.

"This is the Rahm family set up for generations. Everybody wants to earn money for themselves and looks after their immediate family"

2023-12-07T14:39:10Z dg43tfdfdgfd