PGA Tour-LIV Golf book makes claim about Rory McIlroy's father

Rory McIlroy was reportedly left 'heartbroken' after the PGA Tour announced a peace agreement with LIV Golf's Saudi backers, according to a new book.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 17 Oct 2023
PGA Tour-LIV Golf book makes claim about Rory McIlroy's father

Rory McIlroy was reportedly utterly 'heartbroken' after a 'cold-blooded' PGA Tour executive crushed his hopes and dreams by brokering a peace agreement with LIV Golf - the same man who got his father Gerry into an exclusive golf club. 

Per an extract from Alan Shipnuck's LIV & Let Die: the Inside Story of the War Between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, it is claimed McIlroy thought he was fighting for something 'much larger than himself' amid unprecedented disruption in the men's game. 

Shipnuck claims there is a huge divide in how McIlroy, 34, is viewed among his peers. 

Some applauded the fact he put himself on the front line whereas others claim he is 'bought and paid for' like everyone else. 

McIlroy, famously, prematurely claimed the rival league was 'dead in the water' when players such as Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson distanced themselves from the circuit after Phil Mickelson's remarkable comments about his dealings with the Saudis were first published. 

He has also continually traded insults with LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman

In the immediate aftermath of the PGA Tour-PIF announcement, McIlroy stated he still 'hated' LIV but later conceded the proposal of a new, for-profit golf company with the Saudis as a minority investor ultimately neutralises the threat of a complete hijack. 

Shipnuck wrote: "All the PGA Tour loyalists value and respect Rory for his advocacy

"He put himself on the front line, but on the LIV side there is a lot of bitterness because Rory made it intensely personal. He became kind of a leading troll and took a lot of shots at individuals." 

Shipnuck is alluding to the time McIlroy fell out with Sergio Garcia. They have since made up but at one point McIlroy claimed the Spaniard had sent him a series of expletive-laden text messages telling the Ulsterman to 'shut up'. 

The extract continues:

"There is a great divide on how Rory is viewed. I respect Rory because he was willing to say out loud what a lot of people were thinking and he showed a lot of courage and conviction.
"Unfortunately for Rory, he is also an idealist and he thought he was fighting for something larger than himself.
"Then the money guys came in — Jimmy Dunne and Ed Herlihy [PGA Tour directors] — and they completely sold him out and kind of broke his heart. Rory learnt a hard lesson about the real world. Idealism only goes so far and money always wins.
"Jimmy Dunne is a friend and adviser to Rory going back a long way. He got Rory's dad into Seminole Golf Club, one of the inner sanctums of golf — Gerry McIlroy was a former bartender and that does not fit the normal Seminole member profile.
"That was all Jimmy Dunne and yet it was also Jimmy Dunne, in secret, who cold-bloodedly crushed Rory's hopes and dreams with this [framework] deal."

Dunne was one of two PGA Tour officials that were grilled before US lawmakers about the framework agreement. 

It was Dunne who initially reached out to to LIV mastermind, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, over short WhatsApp message. 

Months after a series of secret meetings across the globe, the peace agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf was announced on 6 June. 

Negotiations between the parties has now intensified after the conclusion of the 2023 Ryder Cup

The deadline for the agreement to be ratified is 31 December, but that can be extended. Recent reports suggest the deal is not likely to happen

Read more: