Webb Simpson on Rory McIlroy claim before US Open: "He's right"

PGA Tour policy board member Webb Simpson said he agreed with Rory McIlroy's latest claim about the North American circuit and LIV Golf ahead of the 2024 US Open.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

PGA Tour policy board member Webb Simpson concurred with Rory McIlroy's latest claim about peace talks with LIV Golf's backers. 

During last week's Memorial Tournament, McIlroy said he felt for the first time there was some light at the end of the tunnel. 

McIlroy, 35, didn't give too many details away of what was said in the room after a three-hour meeting with officials from the Public Investmend Fund of Saudi Arabia. 

But his tone was a far cry from the one that lamented the loss of his ally and former policy board member Jimmy Dunne before the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla. 

McIlroy described the crunch meeting as 'very productive, very constructive and very collaborative'. "Definitely things are heading in the right direction," he said. 

Simpson also wanted to keep details close to his chest in his news conference before the 2024 US Open at Pinehurst. 

But, unsurprisingly, he agreed with McIlroy's assertion that the off-course bickering could soon be over and the men's game could be reunited. 

Asked by one reporter where things stand right now with PIF, Simpson said: "The only update that I really have is basically what you just said, that Friday went really well. 

"I think there's positive momentum going right now. I think both sides seem to not only be engaged but want to continue to be engaged as much as possible."

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Simpson continued: "That feels good. It feels good that we're finally at a place where I think we all want similar things. 

"We all recognize that the game of golf is healthier when we're moving in this direction.

"There's so much excitement with so much guys playing well; Scottie dominating. I almost feel the excitement in the air this week already on a Monday.

"I think Rory is right. He knows more than I do at this point. I'll know a lot more come Tuesday next week after our board meeting."

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Simpson's comments came a few days after the anniversary of the 6 June 2023 framework agreement. 

A year ago, PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan and Saudi PIF governor - and LIV chairman - Yasir Al-Rumayyan sat side-by-side on American TV and announced an end to the expensive litigation. 

It was a remarkable bolt out from the blue and sent shockwaves throughout the world of sport. 

Sadly for golf fans, we are none the wiser on what the future of the sport may look like. 

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson

The PGA Tour have been bolstered by a $1.5bn investment from Strategic Sports Group. 

It was hoped the Saudi PIF would make an investment into PGA Tour Enterprises. 

But, remarkably, it took until March this year for players on the PGA Tour's policy board to finally meet Al-Rumayyan

Still, some high-profile players believe it's simply wrong to surmise that negotiations aren't or haven't gone well. 

"I think ultimately we'll end up in a place where professional golf is maybe the best that it's ever been," Jordan Spieth told reporters two weeks ago. 

"I think both sides really believe that."

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