- Tyrell Hatton has reportedly signed a £50m deal to defect to LIV Golf
- The Englishman will now follow Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm to the tour
- Rahm became LIV’s greatest coup after signing massive £450m deal last month
Tyrell Hatton’s move to the LIV circuit will be rubber-stamped imminently in what will cause a fresh headache for European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald.
Hatton, who confirmed earlier this month that he had held conversations with LIV, is expected to be named in the field for their season-opener in Mexico, which begins on Friday.
It will be another blow for the PGA Tour and DP World Tour and a further complication for Donald on the back of Jon Rahm’s departure in December.
Rahm remains eligible to play in the 2025 match in New York because he has not relinquished his DP membership and Hatton is sure to do likewise, but under the European circuit’s current rules they will accrue fines and suspensions for each LIV event they contest.
If those regulations are not changed, it is difficult to envision how either golfer could possibly satisfy the selection criteria of playing four DP tournaments in a season.
Tyrell Hatton has reportedly signed a £50million deal to defect to LIV Golf
The Englishman has followed Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm (left) to the team
Rahm became LIV’s greatest coup when he inked a massive £450million deal last month
Rory McIlroy previously called for a change to those rules in the wake of Rahm’s exit and it is plausible they will be altered as part of the merger negotiations between the traditional tours and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV. Those talks are believed to be close to completion.
As for Hatton, who will pocket a rumoured £50m for the switch, the perception is he had nothing to lose by cashing in, now that the PGA and DP circuits are exploring ways to work with LIV.
However, the world No 16 will face the short-term pain of haemorrhaging spots in the global rankings, as LIV events have not yet been awarded points for their events.
That could have a serious impact on which majors he is able to contest in 2025.
On the course, Hatton will join Rahm’s newly-formed Legion VIII, reprising their fruitful partnership from the Ryder Cup in Rome.
LIV’s winter recruitment effort has also included as-yet-unsuccessful moves to sign Rome veterans Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Højgaard, though their capture of Polish golfer Adrian Meronk is set to be announced this week.