Tony Finau squashes LIV rumors, Jon Rahm suspended immediately

Tony Finau confirmed his PGA Tour future on Monday.

Tony Finau confirmed his intention to stay on the PGA Tour.

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In the latest turn on professional golf’s rumor carousel, Tony Finau is planning to play the PGA Tour in 2024.

And Jon Rahm is not.

And ’round and ’round it goes.

When Rahm announced on Thursday that he’d be leaving the PGA Tour for LIV, golf fans immediately wondered who’d be next. Some of the loudest rumors immediately surrounded Finau, who is Rahm’s close friend and frequent sparring partner at home in Arizona. The Telegraph was among those to report Finau was in talks to join Rahm’s team. Social media speculation ran wild from there.

Finau, who was in contention at the Grant Thornton Invitational over the weekend, voiced his support for Rahm.

“Yeah, I think he made the best decision that he felt was right for his family and himself,” Finau told Sports Illustrated on Friday. “I’m happy for him.”

As for his own future? Finau didn’t take a hard stance.

“No, not yet. I haven’t let anything marinate other than just playing right now,” he told SI. His team told GOLF a similar story: just speculation.

But in the past, a non-denial has often preceded a departure for LIV. Finau’s no-comment was viewed through the lens that has given us Cameron Smith, who issued about a month’s-worth of “no comments” before his departure for LIV last fall.

That wasn’t the case for Finau, who posted to Instagram on Monday afternoon squashing LIV rumors and declaring his intentions to be a PGA Tour member come 2024.

“As this year comes to an end I’m grateful to play the game that I love and to have the opportunity to compete at the highest level,” Finau wrote in what amounted to a year-end reflection post.

“I’m excited for 2024 and looking forward to playing my 10th season on the PGA Tour! And stoked to be defending in both Mexico and Houston!

“Thank you to my partners for your continued support. Thank you to the fans for all the love for our whole Finau fam🙏🏾

“See y’all in Maui! 🤙🏾”

Maui refers to the Sentry, the first event of the 2024 PGA Tour season. Finau added the hashtag #imnotleaving for emphasis.

Notably absent from the Sentry, however, will be its defending champion.

Jon Rahm was officially suspended by the PGA Tour in a memo sent to players from Tour administrators — a memo first posted by Monday Q Info and later obtained by GOLF.

The memo announced that it would be adjusting FedEx Cup eligibility “based on the recent announcement made by Jon Rahm.”

“In accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, Jon Rahm as been notified that he is suspended and no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play due to his association with a series of unauthorized tournaments,” the memo read.

That cleared up some questions that had existed surrounding Rahm’s eligibility, like whether he’d be allowed to compete on the PGA Tour until he actually teed it up in his first LIV event. It also clarified that Rahm’s suspension would bump up the players behind him on the FedEx Cup points list.

That had significant ramifications for players below him on the FedEx Cup list. Mackenzie Hughes jumped to No. 50, punching his ticket to every Signature Event in 2024. Alex Smalley moved up to No. 60, earning a spot in the Genesis Invitational. Carl Yuan moved to No. 125, allowing him to keep his card. And Paul Haley moved up to No. 150, allowing him to maintain conditional status.

There are more rumors about more players leaving for LIV, of course. That means existing players could see their status continue to improve. And it means players who are contemplating the move can expect an immediate suspension, too.

Of course, there remains the possibility that the two sides will reach an agreement, too, especially after the PGA Tour’s Policy Board announced it had moved forward with an investment group and was looking to further negotiations with the PIF.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF governer (and LIV chairman) Yasir Al-Rumayyan are expected to meet this week.

They should have plenty to talk about.

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