Rory McIlroy outlines LIV Golf vision: "I've been banging that drum for a while"

Rory McIlroy has outlined his vision for a world tour and why he was factually incorrect with previous comments about LIV Golf's Jon Rahm.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 9 Jan 2024
Rory McIlroy outlines LIV Golf vision: "I've been banging that drum for a while"

Rory McIlroy has outlined his 'dream scenario' for a world golf tour ahead of his first start of 2024. 

McIlroy, 34, is in the field for this week's Dubai Invitational on the DP World Tour. 

He spoke to a pool of reporters at Dubai Creek Resort on 9 January and outlined his vision that involves LIV Golf staging four events in the spring and four events in the winter. 

These were McIlroy's first comments since his eyebrow-raising appearance on the Stick to Football podcast. 

Elsewhere, McIlroy:

  • Admitted he was factually incorrect when he previously stated the rules needed to be changed so Jon Rahm could be selected for the 2025 European Ryder Cup team (Rahm remains a member of the Tour so is eligible for selection)
  • Resigning from the PGA Tour's policy board has cleared his head 
  • He feels like he doesn't deserve to win the Masters
  • LIV needs to dive deep into the team aspect considering their application for OWGR points was rejected

Scroll down to read McIlroy's thoughts. 

On a world golf tour, McIlroy said:

"Going forward, if everything is on the table, venues have to be a big part of the consideration. We need to make sure the courses are worthy of the players who are going to be competing. My dream scenario is a world tour, with the proviso that corporate America has to remain a big part of it all. Saudi Arabia, too. That's just basic economics. But there is an untapped commercial opportunity out there. Investors always want to make a return on their money. Revenues at the PGA Tour right now are about $2.3 billion. So how do we get that number up to four or six? To me, it is by looking outward. They need to think internationally and spread their wings a bit. I've been banging that drum for a while."

On LIV Golf:

"If it is done like the IPL cricket model, team competition has a chance in golf. I've said what I've said about LIV. I still think it is a confusing product. So what they need to do is lean more into the team stuff. If you want to make your team franchises valuable, especially if you're not going to get World Ranking points, then dive deep into team golf. I could see an eight-event schedule with four events in the spring and four events in the fall. If it was an IPL-like team thing, I would enjoy it hugely. There is an opportunity there to do more within the bigger ecosystem."

Scroll down... 

On Jon Rahm:

"I was factually incorrect in my comments in the wake of Jon’s going to LIV. He's still a member of the DP World Tour, so he is still eligible. I'll take that one on the chin. All I was really trying to say was that we need Jon Rahm on the European team, whatever way that can happen. It's not that we absolutely need him. But our chances are clearly better if he is there."

On resigning from the PGA Tour's policy board:

"Getting out of all things political has definitely cleared my head. I don't feel like I'm caught up in it all. For the last two years, every time I'd be walking from the locker room to the range, I'd be stopped by someone with a couple of questions. I get that I made myself the go-to guy. I was on the board and knew what was going on. So I felt like I could speak to it. Now, if someone asks me, I can honestly say I don't know what is going on. I can't give the best opinion anymore. Because they aren't based on absolute facts."

On the Masters:

"I've just about said all I have to say about the Masters. I'd love to win it. If I don’t, I probably will look back and think I missed out on something. I did an interview a few years ago when the interviewer asked if I felt like I deserved a green jacket. I don't deserve anything. The game has given me more than enough. I have to go out there and earn it. People can say the course suits my game all they want, I still have to go out there and play the golf. I’m on a pretty strong list of players who have won three of the four majors. But I’d like to be on the shorter list of those who have won all four."

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