Rory McIlroy reveals big LIV Golf regret ahead of Canadian Open title defence

Rory McIlroy wishes he 'hadn't have gotten deeply involved' in the PGA Tour's war of words with LIV Golf.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy wishes he 'hadn't have gotten as deeply involved' in the PGA Tour's battle with the Saudi-bankrolled LIV Golf League

McIlroy, 35, was arguably the lead critic of all the PGA Tour players when LIV Golf, led by two-time Open champion Greg Norman, burst on the scene in the summer of 2022. 

Just months before its first tournament in England, McIlroy claimed LIV Golf was 'dead in the water' and 'not something to jump at'. 

Two years on, and LIV Golf has now pinched some of the world's biggest golfers including Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith. 

McIlroy wishes he hadn't have got deeply involved
McIlroy wishes he hadn't have got deeply involved

But as McIlroy lines up for his title defence at this week's RBC Canadian Open, his stance on all things LIV Golf has very much eased.

There is now an acceptance for the Northern Irishman that the professional game is sadly divided, but hope it can come back together.

Much will likely depend on whether the PGA Tour can successfully thrash out a deal with LIV Golf's bankrollers, PIF, on a shock commercial partnership despite everything that has happened over the last two years. 

McIlroy wants the Tour to come back together
McIlroy wants the Tour to come back together

McIlroy, who no longer sits on the PGA Tour policy board this season, claims to hold no resentment over the players that left the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf, but that he does wish he had eased off in his criticism of the breakaway circuit from the outset. 

When pressed by a reporter if his involvement in all things PGA Tour vs LIV Golf had affected his golf game or personal life in recent times, McIlroy replied:

"I don't think so. I think, in hindsight, I wish I hadn't have gotten involved or not hadn't have gotten involved, hadn't have gotten as deeply involved in it, and I've articulated that. I've said that I certainly, I hold no grudge, I hold no resentment over the guys that chose to go and play on LIV. Everyone's got their own decisions to make and everyone is, has the right to make those decisions. My whole thing is I'm just disappointed to what it's done to, not to the game of golf, the game of golf will be fine, but men's professional golf and this sort of divide we have at the minute. Hopefully, we're on a path to sorting that out and getting that to come back together, but, yeah, I mean, in hindsight, hindsight's always 20/20, but in hindsight I wish I hadn't have gotten as deeply involved as I have."

The World No.3 also spoke about the sad passing for PGA Tour pro Grayson Murray, who died by suicide last weekend. 

McIlroy starts a warm 7/2 favourite ahead of this week's RBC Canadian Open where he bids to win the title for a third time in the last four renewals. 

He is also looking to land a third PGA Tour title in his last four starts on the circuit this season having won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (alongside Shane Lowry) and the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month. 

McIlroy filed for divorce with his wife Erica Stoll on the eve of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla two weeks ago. He went on to finish T12.

The 26-time PGA Tour winner jetted off to Italy for a friend's wedding last week, and he told the media he hit just 150 balls all week. 

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