Rory McIlroy reveals why he was not let back on PGA Tour policy board

Rory McIlroy has explained the 'sticking point' behind returning to the PGA Tour policy board.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Despite his best efforts, Rory McIlroy will not reclaim his spot on the PGA Tour's policy board after failing to receive the necessary votes required from current members. 

McIlroy had recently expressed his desire to rejoin the board following Webb Simpson's resignation announcement; however, Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, and Patrick Cantlay had other ideas. 

During the voting process, the three influential members cast their votes against McIlroy's rejoining, thereby securing a majority decision over fellow board members Peter Malnati and Adam Scott, who were in favour of McIlroy's re-inclusion. 

The shock decision, which came to light this week, caught the golfing world off-guard. McIlroy had spoken candidly about his desire to retake his place after stepping down from the board five months ago, a decision he is rumoured to regret. 


Many speculated that McIlroy's famously frosty relationship with Cantlay after their 2023 Ryder Cup bust-up could have caused his exclusion, with rumours also arising that McIlroy and Woods' relationship had soured over the last few months. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

However, speaking to the media at the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy has since poured cold water on any idea that he and Woods were no longer friends and instead claimed his exclusion was more a matter of logistics than anything else.

He told reporters:

"Yeah. Look, the thing is, it wasn't -- I don't necessarily think or believe that people didn't want me involved, it was more just the process of how I could get involved again, right? Like the board has went through this massive eight-month governance review, and what happened with Webb and I and that whole thing, that was outside of the scope of the governance, right? So then what's the process look like to try to bring me back in? That was really the sticking point with it all. 

"So yeah, look, we tried to get to a compromise where, you know, I stuck my hand up and said, look, I can be helpful if this is what Webb wants to do. It was really tricky to do that, so I'm involved in the transaction committee and that's basically to try to get this deal done with PIF. I feel like I've got good relationships on both sides there and hopefully I can bring something to the table and try to, yeah, provide some insight and value and see if we can get this thing done."

Despite not being allowed back on to the policy board, McIlroy is now a member of the transaction subcommittee, which will play a key role in navigating the ongoing merger negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund. 

In spite of long-critiquing the LIV Golf League, McIlroy is now an outspoken advocate for the unification of the men's game and has gone on record to claim the world of elite men's golf would be in a better place with its biggest stars playing under one banner. 

On the other hand, Woods, Cantlay, and Spieth have all suggested that a merger is no longer essential for the longevity of the premier North American circuit, thanks to the large cash injection the PGA Tour received from the Strategic Sports Group. 

Despite his reservations, Woods will be one of two player representatives to participate in face-to-face negotiations with the PIF's representatives alongside McIlroy, PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan, board chairman Joe Gorder, John W. Henry from Fenway Sports Group, and former Tour player Joe Ogilvie, who will act as a liaison. 

Meetings with PIF representatives are set to happen over the coming weeks. 

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