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Rory McIlroy’s rage over PGA Tour-LIV merger caught on Full Swing series

Rory McIlroy’s live reaction to the news of the PGA Tour’s merger with the Public Investment Fund was caught by the Netflix Full Swing cameras…

 

“F*** it, do what you want to do” were the words of Rory McIlroy after discovering the PGA Tour’s agreement with the Public Investment Fund.

McIlroy’s rage at the tour’s stunning new alliance with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund that bankrolls LIV Golf was made clear in season two of Netflix’s Full Swing.

Despite months of hostility between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the leaders of these entities revealed a framework agreement which is yet to be fully solidified nearly 10 months later.

“There is a palpable vibe of confusion and anger because we have very little information right now apart from basically, entered into an agreement, don’t know what that agreement’s going to involve,” McIlroy said.

“What happened?” McIlroy added in the next scene. “How did you get from not knowing this guy, not meeting this guy to signing what is probably the biggest deal in the history of professional golf?

“You get dragged into these things from time to time and I’ve been dragged in in a big way, but I’m almost at the point of, ‘F*** it, do what you want to do’.

rory mcilroy full swing

“It was all sprung in us so quickly. Everyone was blindsided by it. I think that created a lot of anger and confusion amongst the tour membership.

“Jay realised pretty quickly that the rollout of it could’ve been handled better.”

Rory McIlroy: Netflix cameras catch PGA Tour star in fury

The news was revealed ahead of the 2023 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour where commissioner Jay Monahan also addressed the players in a meeting to which the Netflix cameras were not privy to.

Episode two also shows the stunned reactions of major champions Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa. The docu-series, which was first released in 2023, shows the tour’s membership was left in the dark about negotiations with the PIF, which was the main frustration that was reported from Monahan’s initial meeting with the players at the time.

In the ensuing press conference at the tournament, McIlroy maintained that he “hated” LIV Golf and he expected it to go away, however, he described himself as a “sacrificial lamb” too.

Since LIV Golf’s inception in June 2022, the Northern Irishman had been the PGA Tour’s loudest vocal supporter and played a key role in devising the revamped PGA Tour schedules in 2023 and 2024 in his role on the Policy Board.

The PGA Tour has introduced a series of eight Signature Events in 2024 with each event featuring a $20 million purse. The tour’s recent $3 billion deal signed with Strategic Sports Group has made the circuit’s desire to financially combat LIV Golf even starker, while also throwing the progress of talks with the PIF into doubt.

In the new season of the Netflix show, McIlroy said he was closer to Monahan than any other player on the PGA Tour.

But at the end of last year, McIlroy stepped away from the Policy Board in an effort to focus on his career, as his confidant Tiger Woods stepped into his shoes at the end of last summer as a player director.

NOW READ: It’s over! LIV Golf gives up chase for world ranking points

NOW READ: Monahan, Malta and McIlroy: Key takeaways from Keith Pelley’s latest interview

What did you make of this Rory McIlroy Full Swing rant? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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