fbpx
rory mcilroy

Rory McIlroy: I still hate LIV Golf and I expect it to go away

Rory McIlroy believes LIV Golf could be a thing of the past once the PGA Tour’s stunning new deal takes shape, but he has resigned himself to the Public Investment Fund being at the top table of the professional game

 

Rory McIlroy asserted his hatred for LIV Golf when speaking for the first time in public since the PGA Tour announced its merger with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

The four-time major champion expects the rebel league to “go away” at some stage following the announcement of the stunning new deal which has begged many questions in the last 24 hours.

Having been such a vocal supporter of the US circuit, on which he has won 23 times, he described himself as somewhat of a “sacrificial lamb” after remaining loyal to the PGA Tour, while it seems the defectors could be offered a pathway back to their old homes.

McIlroy was quick to shut down claims the tour has merged with LIV Golf, a league run by two-time major champion Greg Norman with whom the Northern Irishman hasn’t seen eye to eye within the last 12 months.

“That’s the thing. I still hate LIV. Like, I hate LIV,” he explained in Toronto. “I hope it goes away. And I would fully expect that it does.

“And that’s where the distinction here is. This is the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and the PIF. Very different from LIV.

“All I’ve tried to do is protect what the PGA Tour is and what the PGA Tour stands for. And I think it will continue to do that. Going forward I hope that – there may be a team element and you’re going to see, maybe me, maybe whoever else play in some sort of team golf.

rory mcilroy

“But I don’t think it will look anything like LIV has looked and I think that’s a good thing.”

McIlroy revealed Jimmy Dunne, part of the PGA Tour Policy Board and the new Executive Committee, rang him at 6.30am on Tuesday morning to explain the deal with the PIF and how it took shape after seven weeks of discussions.

He was aware discussions were ongoing at that time, but admitted the quickness of the announcement was unexpected. Dunne described the situation to McIlroy over the phone as comparable to a shot over water with 280 yards to the green.

“You just got to go for it,” he allegedly said.

The PIF has funded the LIV Golf League since it began in June 2022 at Centurion Golf Club near London.

Its Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan has joined the PGA Tour’s Policy Board and will be Chairman of the new entity that supposedly aims to “unify the game of golf.”

Despite the links of sportswashing and human rights issues associated with Saudi Arabia, McIlroy has been resigned to allowing their inevitable involvement in top-tier golf to take shape.

“I’ve come to terms with it,” he said. “I see what’s happened in other sports. I see what’s happened in other businesses. And, honestly, I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that this is what’s going to happen.

“It’s very hard to keep up with people that have more money than anyone else. And, again, if they want to put that money into the game of golf, then why don’t we partner with them and make sure that it’s done in the right way.”

McIlroy was reportedly involved in a verbal altercation with fellow PGA Tour member Grayson Murray during yesterday’s player’s meeting, a meeting he confirmed was “heated.”

Monahan was put under significant pressure and scrutiny from various players, and was allegedly accused of hypocrisy by some of the 100-something attendees at Oakdale Golf and Country Club.

Having played a big part in the tour’s player-led approach in 2023, McIlroy stated those who defected to LIV Golf won’t be welcomed back with open arms and he still maintains his confidence in Monahan, despite what has been a difficult week for the commissioner so far.

“I said it to Jay yesterday. You’ve galvanised everyone against something and that thing that you galvanised everyone against you’ve now partnered with.

“It is hypocritical – it sounds hypocritical. The one thing I would say is, again, whether you like it or not, the PIF and the Saudis want to spend money on the game of golf.

“They want to do this. And they weren’t going to stop. The thing for me and this is the one thing that I’ve always thought about, how can we get that money into the game, but use it the right way. And I think that’s what this ultimately will do, hopefully. I mean, that’s my hope.”

NOW READ: The questions that must be answered by LIV Golf PGA Tour merger

Follow NCG on Twitter!

rory mcilroy

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.

Latest Posts

LIV Golf Greg Norman

LIV Golf

LIV Golf chief Greg Norman ‘open-minded’ about switch to 72 holes

By

Read full article about LIV Golf chief Greg Norman ‘open-minded’ about switch to 72 holes
LIV Golf Adelaide

LIV Golf

LIV Golf Adelaide: Everything you need to know

By

Read full article about LIV Golf Adelaide: Everything you need to know
tyrrell hatton ryder cup

LIV Golf

Tyrrell Hatton was ‘nervous’ to message Ryder Cup pals after last-minute LIV Golf move

By

Read full article about Tyrrell Hatton was ‘nervous’ to message Ryder Cup pals after last-minute LIV Golf move
liv golf schedule 2024

LIV Golf

LIV Golf schedule 2024: Every date, venue and result

By

Read full article about LIV Golf schedule 2024: Every date, venue and result
Asian Tour 2024 schedule

LIV Golf

Asian Tour 2024 schedule and results

By

Read full article about Asian Tour 2024 schedule and results
Brooks Koepka WITB 2020

LIV Golf

Brooks Koepka schedule and results: Where will he play next?

By

Read full article about Brooks Koepka schedule and results: Where will he play next?
Bryson DeChambeau

LIV Golf

Bryson DeChambeau schedule and results: Where will he play next?

By

Read full article about Bryson DeChambeau schedule and results: Where will he play next?
jon rahm pga tour

LIV Golf

Jon Rahm still loves the PGA Tour and missing events ‘isn’t the easiest’

By

Read full article about Jon Rahm still loves the PGA Tour and missing events ‘isn’t the easiest’

LIV Golf

Jon Rahm takes issue with LIV format: ‘I wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes’

By

Read full article about Jon Rahm takes issue with LIV format: ‘I wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes’