‘I still hate LIV and hope it goes away’: Rory McIlroy breaks his silence on bombshell golf merger, as vocal critic of Saudi-backed tour says he feels like a ‘sacrificial lamb’
Rory McIlroy has broken silence on the PGA Tour’s bombshell merge with LIV, insisting that he feels like a ‘sacrificial lamb’.
The Northern Irishman, who has been vocal in criticising the Saudi-backed tour and turned down huge financial offers worth upwards of £400million from LIV, confessed that he ‘hates’ the rebel circuit and wants it to go away, but hopes the merge will create a ‘brighter’ future for the PGA Tour as a whole.
Calling an end to golf’s civil war, the PGA and European Tours announced on Tuesday that they had signed an agreement with the Saudi-backed circuit to combine their businesses into a new, yet-to-be-named company.
The announcement came after 12 months of unprecedented disruption in the men’s professional game following the launch of LIV, which held its first event in June 2022 in England.
McIlroy, who was joined by PGA legends Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in speaking out against the Saudi-funded tour, admits that he now feels like a ‘sacrificial lamb’ having spoken out against LIV, only for them to join golf’s mainstream circuit.
Rory McIlroy broke silence on golf’s bombshell merge, insisting he feels like a ‘sacrificial lamb’
‘It is hard for me not to feel like a sacrificial lamb. I put myself out there. I still hate LIV and I hope it goes away,’ he said before the Canadian Open on Wednesday.
Admitting he has ‘mixed emotions’, McIlroy hopes that golf will benefit in the future now that the war between LIV and PGA has been settled.
‘Ten years down the line, this will be good for golf,’ he added.
‘The litigation goes away, this was a massive burden for everyone. We can now work towards unifying the game of golf at the elite level.’
McIlroy was caught in an explosive altercation with fellow PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray on Tuesday, as Jay Monahan called a meeting to explain the decision to merge with LIV.
The Northern Irishman has been an outspoken critic of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit
He reportedly snubbed a £400m offer from the Saudi-backed tour to swerve the LIV circuit
Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, faced calls to resign at the ‘heated and intense’ players’ meeting, which lasted 75 minutes.
McIlroy reportedly told Murray to ‘just play better’ when the world No 227 criticised Monahan following PGA Tour’s decision.
Despite admitting that he still hated LIV, the 34-year-old handed Monahan his vote of confidence.
When asked if he still has confidence in the PGA Tour chief, McIlroy replied: ‘I do. The future of the PGA TOUR looks brighter as a whole.’
More to follow.
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