Remember the 2023 Masters Tournament?
Koepka entered the day with a four-stroke lead over Rahm. Since Saturday’s third round was suspended due to torrential rain, the leaders had to play 29 holes on Sunday to complete the tournament.
On the first hole of the day—the par-4 7th hole—Rahm’s deficit quickly became two when he made a birdie while Koepka bogeyed.
It was a harbinger of things to come, as Rahm went on to win the green jacket easily. He shot a 3-under 69 final-round score, while Koepka managed a disappointing 3-over 75.
Rahm, a PGA Tour loyalist at the time, outpaced Koepka, a LIV Golf star who had not won a major since the 2019 PGA Championship. Koepka joined LIV because he wanted financial security and because of the various injuries he suffered over the past few years.
But Koepka’s superb play was vindicated a month later at Oak Hill, where he won the 2023 PGA Championship.
Alas, the PGA Tour versus LIV Golf battle between Rahm and Koepka will play out no more. Rahm is joining the Saudi-backed LIV circuit, as he announced live on FOX News on Thursday.
Koepka, meanwhile, offered his seal of approval.
“Ready for more Sunday battles,” Koepka posted on X, showing the two smiling during Sunday’s final round at the 2023 Masters.
The two superstar golfers, who have seven combined majors, will begin their LIV Golf season at Mayakoba during the first week of February.
The week after, the circuit heads to Las Vegas, as LIV will stage an event in the same city and at the same time as the Super Bowl. That also happens to be the same weekend as the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a PGA Tour staple, which takes place in Rahm’s backyard.
But Rahm will not be in Phoenix. Neither will Koepka.
Instead, they will be battling it out in another desert city, just as they did in Georgia last April.
Get used to seeing more duels between these two.