Rory McIlroy on LIV Golf players: "We can't just welcome them back in"

Rory McIlroy says they can't just welcome the LIV Golf players back in after the news of Tuesday's merger with the PIF.

Lara Kuipers's picture
Wed, 7 Jun 2023
Rory McIlroy on LIV Golf players: "We can't just welcome them back in"

Rory McIlroy says that they "can't just welcome" LIV Golf players "back in" amid the news of the PGA Tour's new agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

On Tuesday, a joint announcement from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the Saudi PIF shocked the golf world.

NEW: McIlroy says he was not offered any money to join LIV Golf

In it, the three parties announced they would be joining forces to "unify the game of golf, on a global basis."

According to the release, the agreement means that PIF's golf-related commercial businesses and rights - which includes LIV Golf - will be combined with the commercial businesses and rights of both the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

And on Wednesday, McIlroy, who's long been outspoken against LIV Golf, spoke about the bombshell news.

The 23-time PGA Tour winner told reporters that he believes the players who joined LIV Golf should face consequences for turning their backs on the PGA Tour.

"There still has to be consequences to actions. The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this Tour, started litigation against it. Like, we can't just welcome them back in. Like, that's not going to happen," McIlroy said. "I think that was the one thing that Jay was trying to get across yesterday is like, guys, we're not just going to bring these guys back in and pretend like nothing's happened. That is not going to happen."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has been facing a lot of heat since news of the agreement.

Monahan has long been publicly anti-LIV Golf and all that it stood for, even suspending players who joined the rival circuit.

However, despite the shocking development, McIlroy said he's still confident in the commissioner.

"I think you ask the people around him that deal with him in a business sense, whether it's the directors of the board of the PGA Tour or the title sponsors that he deals with, I mean, he seems to be a very impressive individual when it comes to business," said McIlroy.

The four-time major champion also touched on how he feels about the Saudi PIF's new control in men's professional golf:

"I've come to terms with it," he said, adding:

"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, you know, this is what's going to happen. Like this is -- 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. And that's sort of where my head's at."

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