Jon Rahm's departure angered many, but his joining LIV Golf made many happy as well. One of them is Mackenzie Hughes. Mackenzie Hughes might have gained a lot from Jon Rahm leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. Hughes missed the chance to qualify for all eight major events in 2024 by just one spot, being ranked 51st after the Tour Championship. This made him really upset. When you work hard for something and it doesn't work out, it's really tough to accept.
When Rahm joined the Saudi-backed league, the PGA Tour suspended him. This sudden change moved Hughes up to the 50th spot, letting him compete in Hawaii this week for the first major event of the year, which has a $20 million prize. Hughes waited for his chance and was aware that he had a chance to be 50. Before Rahm left the PGA Tour, rumors of his potential departure had been swirling for weeks.
"Obviously, being the 51st guy I just needed one guy to go, I didn't need 12 guys and a mass exodus, so I definitely thought there was a chance there. I was home for Thanksgiving. I heard the Rahm stuff start to circulate on Twitter. ... It seemed like a long time those rumors were flying around for awhile, and we never really heard what was happening one way or the other.
Then he finally announced it. I knew before, well before he announced that he was going, what was going to happen if he did go."- he said, as quoted by ESPN!
Mackenzie Hughes reacts to 2019
Mackenzie Hughes described 2019 as the peak of professional golf, where the focus was primarily on the sport, and the financial side was balanced. But with LIV's emergence, there was a sudden push to increase prize money, asking sponsors to invest more without changing the game.
He worried that fans might question if players love the game or are just concerned about money, especially those joining LIV primarily for financial reasons. Hughes believes that fans are still shocked and don't understand what's going on in the golf scene. Too many things happened in a short period, and it is very difficult for individuals to understand what the intentions of the leading people of the golf world are, and what the future holds.