Jordan Spieth's news conference passes with million dollar question ignored

Jordan Spieth's news conference before the CJ Cup Byron Nelson passed without one of the most pressing PGA Tour issues being addressed.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth faced the media ahead of the CJ Cup Byron Nelon on Wednesday but one of the most pressing issues on the PGA Tour wasn't addressed. 

And that would be whether or not Rory McIlroy will return to his role as a player director on the policy board. 

McIlroy resigned from his position five months ago in an apparent huff over the best route forward following the seismic announcement of the framework agreement with LIV Golf's financiers. 


A picture later emerged whereby it seemed as though McIlroy's thinking did not align with other American golfers on the board who perhaps did not want to adopt the Northern Irishman's approach to let bygones be bygones and embrace a 'global tour'. 

That was illustrated when McIlroy revealed he exchanged words with Spieth following his comments about potential Saudi investment in PGA Tour Enterprises after a mega cash injection from Strategic Sports Group. 

“I talked to him about his comments and we had a pretty frank discussion,” McIlroy previously told SI. 

He added: "My thing was if I’m the original (potential) investor that thought that they were going to get this deal done back in July, and I’m hearing a board member say that, you know, we don’t really need them now, how are they going to think about that, what are they gonna feel about that?

“They are still sitting out there with hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, that they’re gonna pour it into sport. 

"And I know what Jordan was saying, I absolutely know what he was saying and what he was trying to say. 

"But if I were PIF and I was hearing that coming from here, the day after doing this SSG deal, it wouldn’t have made me too happy, I guess?" 

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

We are led to believe negotiations have stalled between the PGA Tour and PIF since McIlroy left the board. 

According to European Tour Group chief executive Guy Kinnings, they are yet to all sit around the negotiating table

It is hoped McIlroy could help break the impasse but, according to Golfweek, there is a faction of the board who view the Ulsterman as an ally to those that engineered the framework agreement without players' knowledge. 

A vote was supposed to be held last Sunday from the other player directors to confirm his reappointment but as of yet no word has filtered through about what the future will hold for McIlroy. 

Whatever happens, it seems impossible that McIlroy won't be consulted whether he is or isn't on the board. 

Aside from Tiger Woods, it could be argued that he is one of the sports true needle movers whose opinion matters.

Spieth was asked 11 questions by reporters after the pro-am at TPC Craig Ranch on 1 May but not one of those involved the subject of McIlroy. 

McIlroy said before the winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Shane Lowry he was happy to do his bit.

But only on the provision that he's wanted. 

As time passes, it is becoming clearer the answer to that question is abundantly obvious. 

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