Smith: PGA Tour pros' attack on Rory McIlroy amid boardroom drama is utterly ludicrous

This attack on Rory McIlroy from fellow PGA Tour pros amid his desire to push the LIV Golf peace deal over the line is not needed, writes Ben Smith.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

The English comedian Peter Kay once destroyed a heckler by saying: "Next time someone says 'Penny for your thoughts', sell." 

My mind was immediately drawn to that quick wit when I read the latest comments from PGA Tour pros James Hahn and Kevin Streelman who decided to rip Rory McIlroy a new one over the Northern Irishman's desire to return to the policy board to push the PIF deal over the line. 

McIlroy was ultimately outmanoeuvred in his bid to return to the fold by a man who definitely wasn't protesting about not getting paid to play at the Ryder Cup by not wearing a hat but only because he couldn't find one that fit. 

It truly is a remarkable sequence of events for McIlroy. 

Think about it this way, McIlroy began Golf's Civil War™ as an agitator, Greg Norman's greatest foe since Augusta National's back nine and the PGA Tour's north star. 

Greg Norman
Greg Norman

"He's our Harvey Dent right now," Max Homa said of McIlroy at the height of the feud. 

As we thought the schism was nearing its end, he was then anointed the Tour's 'sacrificial lamb'. 

Somehow his role in this mess changed again to an arbitrator and an advocate for the Saudis getting involved in the game so long as the history and tradition of the sport is protected. 

As I say, utterly remarkable. 

But not nearly as remarkable as the thoughts from Messrs Hahn and Streelman when they offered their two cents on McIlroy's potential return. 

"He was very clear that it was too much for him," Streelman told Golfweek

"I wouldn't quit on something that you were elected to by your peers."

Hahn agreed. 

"That's just not how democracy works."

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Fair points, until you consider the fact that McIlroy's replacement - Jordan Spieth - was not elected to fill the gap the Ulsterman left by a vote from the full membership. 

His chums on the board signed off on his seat at the table. 

And when was that vote held that saw Tiger Woods join the board? 

Laughably, there was no timeframe given for Woods' stint. Now he's effectively the commissioner

This is not the first time Hahn has taken a bizarre dig at McIlroy. 

He wasn't happy at all with McIlroy and Woods after their call to arms in late 2022. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

The duo corralled the top talent and then decided the best way forward amid the threat of LIV was to introduce an elevated events model with prize purses of at least $20,000,000. 

And limited fields. 

The prospect of getting into those events seemed a tall, if not impossible order for the likes of Hahn to tee it up in. 

After Hahn went in on the direction the Tour was heading, he then decided to skip a players' only meeting before the 2023 Players where the changes were going to be explained and the floor opened up for questions. 

"You say all this s--- and you're not even in the meeting," McIlroy previously said of Hahn. 

"The fact that he wasn't even in the room was a slap in the face to everyone there."

Who knows where we go from here with this governance mess. 

The only thing I can surmise is that the PGA Tour has lost and, despite fighting hard for so long McIlroy knows it. 

And as we navigate the choppy waters ahead, I'm sure I'm not alone in suggesting we should do so without these rank-and-file clowns. 

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