Is there a difference between the rise of LIV Golf and the introduction of TGL Golf? Rory McIlroy explains why there is…
Questions about LIV Golf follow Rory McIlroy wherever he goes.
The Northern Irishman was asked why he isn’t excited by the Saudi-funded series but is excited about TGL Golf in a press conference.
A curious comparison perhaps but maybe not if you listened to the whole media session in Boston on Monday.
McIlroy said he wants his new joint enterprise with Tiger Woods to “broaden the demographic” and be “additive to the system.”
“Growing the game” was even uttered, further resembling the checklist of catchphrases used in LIV’s own promotion over the last 18 months.
“I think this is meant to be complimentary (to golf), this is not meant to be disruptive in any way,” McIlroy began in response.
“Whenever Mike (McCarley) brought this idea to Tiger and I, one of the first things we said was ‘if we are going to do this we are going to have to partner with the PGA Tour in some way and make this complimentary’.
“That was the first thing. This was not adversarial at all, it was how can we be additive into the entire system.
“We are pretending to be competitive, and it is a different type of golf, but it is not the same golf you see week-in-week-out.
“I don’t want to sit here and talk about LIV but you could make the argument that they haven’t innovated enough away from what traditional golf is, or they have innovated too much that they’re not traditional golf.
“They are sort of caught in no-man’s land, whereas this is so far removed from what we know golf to be.”
The four-time major champion has staunchly defended the PGA Tour since LIV’s first event in June of last year.
During this year’s Genesis Scottish Open, he claimed he would retire if LIV was the only option left to participate.
McIlroy was joined by his new Boston Common Golf teammates Keegan Bradley, Tyrrell Hatton and Adam Scott ahead of the start-up’s opening date on January 9.
This is one of the five teams that have been revealed so far for the interactive, tech-infused league featuring some of the world’s best players.
What else about the Rory McIlroy-LIV Golf feud?
McIlroy also appeared on CNBC’s Halftime Report with Tom Werner, the chairman of Fenway Sports Group.
FSG will lead McIlroy’s Boston Common team in TGL and is reportedly in talks with the PGA Tour to become a private equity partner.
The tour is supposedly in negotiations with a number of companies looking to invest which has called the circuit’s agreement with the Public Investment Fund into question.
However, McIlroy hopes a deal can be struck with the PIF, the chief investor of LIV Golf, to “bring the game of golf back together.”
“I feel like we’ve got a fractured competitive landscape right now and I would prefer if everyone sort of got back into the same boat. I think that’s the best thing for golf,” he said.
“I would hope when we go through this process, the PIF are the ones that are involved in the framework agreement.
“Obviously, there’s been other suitors that have been involved and offering their services and their help.
“But hopefully, when this is all said and done, I sincerely hope that the PIF is involved and we can bring the game of golf back together.”
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