Antelope Valley Press

Jon Rahm bolts for LIV Golf in a stunning blow to the PGA Tour


Masters champion Jon Rahm bolted for Saudi-funded LIV Golf on Wednesday for what’s believed to be more money than the PGA Tour’s entire prize fund, a stunning blow that deepens the divide in golf as the two sides were negotiatin­g a commercial deal.

Rahm confirmed the move in an interview with Fox News, during which he wore a black LIV letterman’s jacket, saying it was not an easy decision.

“I’ve been very happy,” Rahm said. “But there is a lot of things that LIV Golf has to offer that were very enticing.”

He said he would keep private how much the deal was worth amid reports that put his compensati­on in the $500 million range, which likely would include equity in his new team.

The developmen­t comes 25 days before the deadline for the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund try to finalize their shocking June 6 agreement to become commercial partners in a for-profit enterprise, along with the European tour.

Talks have been going slowly, and Tiger Woods said last week there were a lot of moving parts. The biggest move was the 29-year-old Rahm, the No. 3 player in the world and a twotime major champion approachin­g his prime, being the latest to defect.

Rahm had been adamant that has enough money, he cares only about history and legacy and only recently said he “laughed” whenever he saw his name linked to LIV.

“It was a great offer. The money is great, obviously it’s wonderful,” Rahm said. “But what I said before is true: I do not play golf for the money. I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf. But, as a husband, as a father and as a family man I have a duty to my family to give them the best opportunit­ies and the most amount of resources possible and that is where that comes in.”

He remains eligible for the majors for the next five years — the Masters for life, the U.S. Open until 2031. Still to be determined is how this affects his eligibilit­y for the Ryder Cup.

Rahm’s addition gives LIV Golf seven of the last 14 winners at the majors.

The Yankees made a vintage Steinbrenn­er move to land Juan Soto after a lousy 2023

NEW YORK — Juan Soto’s arrival

is a sign the New York Yankees want stars to help them rebound from their worst season in three decades — a move right out of late owner George Steinbrenn­er’s playbook.

“We certainly want to try under the Steinbrenn­er leadership to make this the mecca of baseball,” general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday, a day after acquiring the three-time All-Star outfielder from San Diego in a seven-player trade. “George Steinbrenn­er always felt that the best players in the world should play here for the New York Yankees.

“Hal Steinbrenn­er and Jenny and Jessica have continued those efforts,” Cashman added, referring to the controllin­g owner’s sisters. “Juan Soto is the latest example of that, of their efforts to try to bring the greatest, most talented baseball players the world can provide to play and call home here in the Bronx.”

New York also got Gold Glove center fielder Trent Grisham in exchange for right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez and Drew Thorpe along with catcher Kyle Higashioka.

Soto, who turned 25 in October, hit .275 with 35 homers, 109 RBIs and a .930 OPS in his only full season with the Padres and joins a batting order that includes Aaron Judge. Cashman likened pairing Soto with Judge to a card game.

“The great thing about the crazy eights is that one’s right-handed, one’s left-handed,” he said. “And so that creates a tougher lineup to navigate for the opposing pitchers.”

Jaguars QB Lawrence returns to practice, taking another step toward playing at Browns

JACKSONVIL­LE, Fla. — Jacksonvil­le Jaguars quarterbac­k Trevor Lawrence returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday, taking another step toward playing at Cleveland despite a high ankle sprain.

Lawrence took snaps, moved around on his right ankle and threw passes during the portion of practice open to reporters. It came a day after he said he felt a lot better than he thought he would after left tackle Walker Little stepped on his ankle late in Monday night’s loss to Cincinnati.

If Lawrence does play, he would do so while dealing with injuries to both legs. He sprained his left knee in Week 6 against Indianapol­is, played four days later at New Orleans and has worn a knee brace since.

He’s been at his best over Jacksonvil­le’s past three games. He’s thrown for 884 yards, with five touchdowns and one intercepti­on in that span. He also has four rushing scores.

The Jaguars (8-4) will be without receiver Christian Kirk (groin) and could be without Little (hamstring). They already are down starting left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and receiver/returner Jamal Agnew (shoulder).

Jags employee charged with stealing $22M gambled away 99% of funds, plans guilty plea, lawyer says

JACKSONVIL­LE, Fla. — A former Jacksonvil­le Jaguars financial manager accused of stealing more than $22 million from the franchise has a gambling addiction and plans to plead guilty to resolve federal charges against him, his attorney said Thursday.

Attorney Alex King of First Coast Criminal Defense in Jacksonvil­le released a statement on behalf of his client, Amit Patel, and said “approximat­ely 99% of the funds misappropr­iated” from the team’s virtual credit card program were gambled away.

The NFL met with Patel in February as part of an investigat­ion into his gambling, most of which took place on two prominent websites. The Jaguars subsequent­ly suspended and later fired Patel, King said.

“Mr. Patel suffers from a serious gambling addiction, and in the spring of this year, checked himself into extensive, inpatient rehabilita­tion to address his addiction,” King said. “Mr. Patel’s serious gambling addiction does not excuse his actions, which he takes full responsibi­lity for.

“Although incomprehe­nsible to most, a gambling addition is similar to substance abuse, such that the disorder can stimulate the brain’s dopamine response much like drugs or alcohol do. It provides an uncontroll­able urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on one’s life, and creates a willingnes­s to risk more and more, despite the impact it has.”

Patel kept gambling in hopes of winning back his money and repaying the misappropr­iated funds, his attorney said.

Patel was accused of using the money to buy two vehicles, a condominiu­m in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach, a designer watch for $95,000 and cryptocurr­ency — and to place more bets, according to the court filing.

He also allegedly used the money to buy sports memorabili­a, a country club membership, spa treatments and tickets to sporting events and concerts. He also chartered private jets for himself and friends and lodged a retainer with a criminal defense law firm, according to the filing.

Texas Tech F Cambridge suffers season-ending knee injury after transfer from Arizona State

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech senior forward Devan Cambridge will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Cambridge got hurt in the Red Raiders’ 87-58 victory over Omaha on Wednesday night. While not getting into other details about the injury, the school announced Thursday that the transfer from Arizona State will miss the rest of this season.

“Devan has been a tremendous person and teammate since he arrived,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “It’s a devastatin­g injury for him and our program. He is still going to make a significan­t impact on our team this year through his leadership.”

Cambridge started Texas Tech’s first eight games, averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while playing 26 minutes a game. He shot 52.7% from the field (29 of 55). He scored nine points against Omaha before getting hurt with 9½ minutes left in the game.

He began his college career with three seasons at Auburn, then went to Arizona State last season to play with his brother. Cambridge averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds while starting 35 games for the Sun Devils.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States