Rory McIlroy confirms PGA Tour—PIF stalemate

Rory McIlroy has claimed that the PGA Tour—PIF merger talks have made little progress in the last eight months.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has confirmed that the talks between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund have been stagnant since he decided to step down from the Tour's policy board last year.

Negotiations regarding a proposed deal to merge the PGA Tour and PIF have been grinding on for almost a year now. 

Despite PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan recently claiming that talks have been accelerated, McIlroy today confirmed not much progress has been made in the last eight months. 

McIlroy is rumoured to rejoin the PGA Tour's policy board after stepping down in November 2023. 

Speaking to the media after his pro-am round at the Zurich Classic, McIlroy was questioned about the rumours of his return. While he didn't completely confirm them, he did say that it's a hypothetical "maybe." 

The rumours began circulating after Webb Simpson confirmed he would be stepping down from his position on the board and added that he had explicitly requested McIlroy take his place. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

McIlroy stepped down last year because he wanted to concentrate on his golf and family life, but it appears he is ready to reengage with discussions after only a five-month absence. 

Discussing why he has decided to attempt to re-join the board, McIlroy said:

"I think I can be helpful. I don't think there's been much progress made in the last eight months, and I was hopeful that there would be. I think I could be helpful to the process. 

"But only if people want me involved, I guess. When Webb and I talked and he talked about potentially coming off the board, I said, look, if it was something that other people wanted, I would gladly take that seat, and that was the conversation that we had. 

"But yeah, I think that's the whole reason. I feel like I can be helpful. I feel like I care a lot, and I have some pretty good experience and good connections within the game and sort of around the wider sort of ecosystem and everything that's going on."

Although it appears a return to the board is imminent for McIlroy, he did confirm that it's not just up to him.

He continued:

But at the end of the day, it's not quite up to me to just come back on the board. There's a process that has to be followed.

But I'm willing to do it if that's what people want, I guess.

In order for McIlroy's place on the board to be reinstated, he will need to be voted in by his potential future fellow board members, including Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth.

The vote is set to be held today. 

McIlroy has been outspoken about his desire for the world of men's professional golf to be unified. After recently quashing rumours of a potential move to LIV, it appears he is now fully focused on ensuring a merger between the PGA Tour and PIF can be achieved successfully.

McIlroy will be teeing it up at this week's Zurich Classic New Orleans alongside Ireland's Shane Lowry.

His appearance marks the first time he has played in the team format tournament. 

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