Golf official: We need Rory McIlroy to prevent Patrick Cantlay 'ruining' PGA Tour

A PGA Tour tournament director has made some truly shocking comments about Rory McIlroy's tense relationship with Patrick Cantlay.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

A PGA Tour tournament director says Rory McIlroy is 'desperately needed' back onto the policy board to get the PIF deal over the line and prevent Patrick Cantlay from 'ruining' the circuit. 

The explosive comments came in the form of a shock report from Golfweek's Adam Schupak that shone a light on the behind-the-scenes wranglings over McIlroy's future. 


McIlroy quit the PGA Tour's policy board last November, citing a desire to concentrate on playing professional golf and his other business interests. 


But it was clear that McIlroy, having been the PGA Tour's spokesperson for two years as they battled LIV Golf for power in the men's game, was upset at how the framework agreement with the breakaway tour's backers, the PIF of Saudi Arabia, was rolled out. 

The Netflix cameras captured McIlroy's NSFW response to the agreement that came out of the blue.

And later the Northern Irishman, now 35 years old, told of how he felt like he was 'banging his head' against a brick wall when his voice was not being heard among the tour's policy board as the North American circuit sought to find a pathway forward. 

It's now abundantly clear that one player he was at loggerheads with was the 2023 Ryder Cup pantomime villain Patrick Cantlay. 

McIlroy, to all intents and purposes, appears to have swallowed his pride and wants the PGA Tour to adopt his approach for a truly global circuit that involves LIV players. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

The Ulsterman, controversially, has not seemed to fussed about whether potential returning LIV players should face financial penalties for initially breaking the tour's regulations when joining the breakaway. 

Cantlay, it seems, appears to think very differently. 

Ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship, it was up in the air whether McIlroy would return to the board. 

He has since confirmed that he will not return and that Webb Simpson will serve out his term. 

McIlroy invoked the Good Friday Agreement as he confirmed the shock news. 

In Golfweek's report, one player described his frustration with Simpson. 

Simpson is among the six player directors but offered to resign his seat on the basis that McIlroy replaced him. 

It's undemocratic, the player told the publication. 

The tournament director said: "We need Rory back on the board. Had he stayed on he could’ve neutered Cantlay. He’s the only one with the power to neuter Cantlay. We need Rory to try to keep Cantlay from ruining the Tour."

They added: "Webb is too nice. A lot of people at the Tour at a very high level are thrilled that Rory is going back on the board for that reason."

Click here to read the full report

Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Cantlay

The director also stated that McIlroy is keen to have the Irish Open and other international events be promoted with smaller fields and larger purses. 

But the issue, they contended, is Cantlay. 

“But the main thing is Cantlay and we’ve got to get a deal done with the PIF," they said.  

"LIV’s got to go away. If we don’t get a deal done, we’re all screwed in the end. We all know it. (Cantlay) is against it. Rory is for it. 

"So let’s get a deal done and get these (guys) put to bed. Do any of us want to work with the Saudis, no? But, on the other hand, none of us want to fight against them and their money for the rest of our careers, either. Cantlay is blocking any type of deal they try to put together.

"Rory wants (independent director) Jimmy Dunne to be the negotiator, not the players. The players should only be voting on what happens inside the ropes and rules and stuff. 

"They are not businessmen. If you have a high school education how the hell can you vote on multi-billion-dollar finance situations and investment properties? They don’t have a clue. 

"They don’t know the business. Hire the top business guys in the world to do your deal. Put them in place and be done with it.”

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