Rory McIlroy makes his PGA Tour stance clear despite £682m LIV Golf rumours

Rory McIlroy makes his PGA Tour stance clear despite £682m LIV Golf rumours

Rory McIlroy has been the poster boy for the PGA Tour in the battle with LIV Golf, and appears to be committed to the Tour despite one report linking him with a sensational £682m move

PGA Tour stalwart Rory McIlroy has always remained loyal to the Tour despite having stepped back from his role as the leader in the fight against LIV Golf, and there’s little indication that will change.

Since the very beginning of the Saudi Arabia-funded breakaway league back in 2022, McIlroy has remained one of the biggest critics of LIV and those who chose to accept the eye-watering money on offer to quit the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. But after being the poster boy for the Tour in the last two years, McIlroy scaled things back last year in order to focus more on his game and finally complete the career Grand Slam.

He made no secret of that, as he quit the PGA Tour board and even removed himself from a WhatsApp group of Tour players, which took place against the backdrop of tense merger negotiations between PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund – backers of LIV.

Despite having been one of the staunchest critics of LIV, he has softened his stance in public, even admitting he understood when Ryder Cup teammate Jon Rahm turned his back on the PGA Tour to join the breakaway series in a £450million deal. Those public comments, coupled with some speculation from his former agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler, had led to some loose speculation that McIlroy himself could be gearing up to make the ultimate U-turn.

And on Sunday, a report in City A.M. alleged a deal between McIlroy and LIV Golf was ‘close’, which would see the Northern Irishman would resemble the largest signing in the breakaway series’ history to the tune of £672m ($850m) as well as a 2% stake in the company.

On Thursday at the Masters, LIV Golf CEO Norman followed McIlroy’s group around the iconic Augusta National. However, when asked after the opening round whether he had known Norman was watching on, McIlroy said: “I did not. Didn’t see him.” McIlroy arrived at Augusta National last week hoping to complete the career grand slam by clinching a coveted green jacket. However, the World No. 2 never truly got going and finished one-over as the Masters title once again eluded his grasp.

And speaking afterwards, McIlroy insisted he didn’t want to reflect on the disappointment of missing out, but rather wanted to focus instead on the upcoming RBC Heritage signature event – which takes place this weekend in South Carolina. He said: “I think it’s just a matter of me getting my game in a bit better shape going towards the rest of the season.

“I need to take a little time and reflect on this week and what I did well and didn’t do so well, and try to make a plan for the next few months, especially from here to the end of July going through major season. They’re obviously going to come thick and fast here so I’ll hopefully get myself in a bit better form for those last three.”

Reflecting on his personal performance at Augusta, McIlroy said: “”I felt like my game was OK, managed it pretty well. Obviously Friday was a really tough day and losing five shots put me in a pretty difficult position going into the weekend. The conditions were pretty tough. The greens were crusty and firm and hard to get the ball super close, and hard to make a tonne of birdies, so once you get seven or eight back going into the weekend here it’s hard to make up that ground.”

McIlroy will head to South Carolina as one of the favourites in a stacked field, including masters champion Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and breakout star Ludvig Aberg, who finished runner-up to Scheffler at Augusta National. One man who won’t be competing, however, is Viktor Hovland, who withdrew after a disastrous showing at the Masters, where he failed to make the cut.


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