Report: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's relationship has 'soured'

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods' relationship has 'soured' ever since the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's relationship has reportedly 'soured over the past six months', per a report in Golf Digest

If we are to rewind six months, that takes us to the start of December 2023 and just two months after McIlroy had a bust-up with Woods' former caddie Joe LaCava - who now loops for Patrick Cantlay - at the Ryder Cup.

McIlroy, 34, confirmed he had two missed call and three text messages from Woods, 48, in the aftermath of his heated spat with LaCava. 

That was also a period in time where McIlroy confirmed he had removed his chair from the table on the PGA Tour policy board, which Woods agreed to sit on a month before the start of the Ryder Cup. 

Related: Tiger Woods incredibly voted against (!) Rory McIlroy returning to PGA Tour policy board

Woods joined the policy board, then McIlroy left
Woods joined the policy board, then McIlroy left


Should the Woods-McIlroy relationship have indeed 'soured', per Golf Digest's latest report, then it could certainly make their new TGL a tad awkward when it all starts up in early 2025. 

It was supposed to commence this January but a start date was pushed back 12 months after the stadium roof caved in. 

McIlroy and Woods are the brainchilds behind the tech-infused golf league, which will see a number of the world's best players on the PGA Tour come together in six team rosters for some indoor, weeknight golf. 

McIlroy will not return to the PGA Tour policy board
McIlroy will not return to the PGA Tour policy board

Earlier today, McIlroy confirmed that despite putting up his hand to return to the PGA Tour policy board this month, he was unsuccessful.

He had wanted a quick return to try and help get the PGA Tour, PIF merger over the line and bring some form of unification back into the professional game. 

One tournament director went as far to say McIlroy was being urged back to the policy board by a number of people because current lead voice Cantlay was 'ruining' the PGA Tour. 

Two weeks ago, McIlroy claimed the PGA Tour, PIF merger had made little progress over the last eight months. 

Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay is one of six players on the PGA Tour policy board alongside Woods, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Peter Malnati.

McIlroy today claimed a 'subset of people on the board were maybe uncomfortable with me coming back on for some reason'.

While McIlroy did not reveal any names, Woods was indeed a big reason why the World No.2 has not returned to the policy board. 

Telegraph Sport understands that five player directors on the PGA Tour - other than Simpson - had the power to decide on McIlroy's reinclusion but they voted against him.

"Tiger Woods, along with the supposed ringleader Patrick Cantlay who is against Saudi investment, formed the resistance and won the day 3-2," per Telegraph Sport.

The third player to vote against McIlroy was reportedly Spieth.

Scott and Malnati voted for McIlroy's return. 

McIlroy and Woods' relationship has 'soured', per report
McIlroy and Woods' relationship has 'soured', per report

Golf Digest writes: 

"The McIlroy-Woods relationship, sources tell Golf Digest, has also soured over the past six months. It remains cordial, yet their different views on the future of professional golf has led to a falling out of sorts."

It has also been widely reported that McIlroy has not seen eye-to-eye with Cantlay.

That was even before his clash with Cantlay's current caddie and Woods' former bagman LaCava at the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone.

McIlroy recently labelled Cantlay a 'd***'.

Woods reportedly voted against McIlroy's return
Woods reportedly voted against McIlroy's return

Golf Digest also claims McIlroy's relationship with Spieth has somewhat faded too. 

McIlroy reportedly removed himself from a PGA Tour group chat in February straight after hearing Spieth's comments about a PIF deal no longer being needed on the circuit as a result of SSG's heavy $3 billion investment deal. 

"As for Spieth and McIlroy, McIlroy removed himself from a player text chain following Spieth’s comments at Pebble Beach (where Spieth said the tour doesn’t need PIF after the deal with SSG), leading to an hour-long chat between the two."

Spieth and McIlroy were also seen clashing over a drop in the first round of The Players Championship a month later. 

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

PGA Tour pro and former player director on the board Kevin Streelman told Golfweek

"Rory was very clear that it was too much for him. He had business dealings, he has a kid, he wants to focus on his game. Trust me, I get it. But once you quit, you’re not getting back. I wouldn’t quit on something that you were elected to by your peers. To want back in is peculiar."

McIlroy starts a warm 7/1 tournament favourite as he goes in search of a fourth victory at the Wells Fargo Championship this week.

He is already the tournament record holder at Quail Hollow having landed three wins in 2010, 2015 and 2021. 

This week's tournament marks the sixth of eight signature events on the PGA Tour. 

The prize fund is once again $20m

Woods is not in the field but he is 'scouting' Valhalla ahead of next week's US PGA

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler is also on the sidelines as he waits for his wife Meredith to give birth to their first child. 

What do you make of reports claiming McIlroy and Woods' relationship has 'soured over the past six months'? Do you think it all started since McIlroy's spat with Woods' ex caddie LaCava at the Ryder Cup? How will it affect things at the TGL and the PGA Tour's future? Share your thoughts over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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