Rory McIlroy insists PGA Tour not copying LIV Golf as 'rebels' SOUND OFF!

Rory McIlroy has come under heavy fire from the LIV Golf League pros after the PGA Tour confirmed a number of elevated events will have no cuts from 2024.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 1 Mar 2023
Rory McIlroy insists PGA Tour not copying LIV Golf as 'rebels' SOUND OFF!

Rory McIlroy has insisted the radical changes announced by the PGA Tour are no copy of the LIV Golf League

In case you missed the bombshell news, it was confirmed that from 2024 the PGA Tour is formulating ideas that a number of their elevated events will be contested by fields of 70-78 players. 

And the biggest change? The absence of a cut which has been met with a chorus of sarcasm by a number of the players who joined the breakaway tour, led by Greg Norman

Related: LIV Golf 'done' with 2023 signings

"I've spent a year reading how good full fields and cuts are," posted former World No. 1 and Majesticks GC player Lee Westwood. 

Ian Poulter then chimed in: "Saw this coming. When will the penny drop with so many of what has actually happened here?" 

Poulter added: 

"It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out. And sounds very similar to another product that's been spoken so badly about by media." 

It should be noted that McIlroy said the changes were 'to be determined', so there is a chance the no-cut element could be scrapped. 

That being said, the changes make the 'product' much easier to sell to the sponsors, he told the media on Wednesday ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. 

Defending the changes, McIlroy said: 

"Well we've always had no-cut events on this tour. If you think of like the four WGC's, you've got the three playoffs events, you've got the CJ Cup, the Zozo.
"So there's precedent there for no-cut events.
"The only reason no-cut events are a big deal is because LIV has come along.
"So there is precedent for no-cut events. There's been no-cut events since I've been a member of the tour and way beyond that as well." 

He added: 

"It [the not cut element] keeps the stars there for four days. You ask Mastercard or whoever it is to pay 20 million dollars for a golf event, they want to see the stars at the weekend. They want a guarantee that the stars are there. So if that's what needs to happen, then that's what happens." 

It has been confirmed via a memo from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan that the majors and the Players will remain cut events. 

There is absolutely no doubt that these changes have been spearheaded by the likes of McIlroy and Tiger Woods

Read the memo here:

This all emanated from a players' only meeting in Delaware last August where the cream of the crop met to discuss how to combat LIV Golf and prevent the Saudi-backed tour from pinching any more of their stars. 

In a way, it mirrored what happened 30 years ago when the aforementioned Norman gathered players and touted the idea of a world golf tour. 

Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer said no. Others followed. 

McIlroy continued: 

"You look at this event, you look at the Memorial, you look at Tiger's event in L.A. They have got a ton of history behind them.
"So is there an argument to say that because of that historical context we try to keep a cut in those events. Maybe. Like, who knows.
"Again, that's all to be decided. But, again, I will say there's precedent for no-cut events on this tour."

The Northern Irishman, 33, said the PGA Tour had to bear in mind that negotiations over a new media rights deal will come around quick. 

He continued: 

"The next negotiations coming up aren't that far away. We're into 2024 next year. By 2028 there will be some negotiations starting again.
"So I feel like what we're doing puts us in a way better position for the next media rights cycle coming up at the end of the 2020s.
"So that, again, whoever is bidding on them -- and obviously the media landscape is changing drastically at the minute. So whether that's NBC, CBS, whoever, or whether it's Apple TV or YouTube or Amazon or whoever it is, that we're in the best possible position to get a better media rights deal so that the prize money goes up again.
"So that's where the majority of the money comes from." 

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Next page: Pro explains what 'doesn't make sense' about LIV players