Yesterday, we were hit with the wild news that the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Tour would be merging to become one entity, after a near two year long feud between the two tours.
The feud mostly stems from the inhumane laws within the country of Saudi Arabia, with the PGA Tour practically telling its players that it’s immoral to join LIV Golf. They also initially told the players that if they took the millions of dollars LIV offered them to go play on their tour, they would no longer be allowed to compete in PGA Tour events.
However, we still saw some of the best golfers in the world, such as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and more make the decision to join LIV Golf.
But now, after all of the PGA Tour’s backlash, they agreed to merge.
During the feud, one of the PGA’s most outspoken players against the tour was Rory McIlroy, who backed the PGA through and through for their backlash against LIV.
So, as you can imagine, McIlroy probably felt pretty betrayed by his own tour when they announced they were merging.
And needless to say, that was pretty evident today when he broke his silence on the new merger.
He said in a press conference this morning:
“It is hard for me not to feel like a sacrificial lamb. I put myself out there. I still hate LIV and I hope it goes away.”
He also noted that he has “mixed emotions,” but hopes this will benefit golf in the future now that the feud has been settled:
“It was a surprise, I knew there had been discussions going on in the background but I didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did.
I gather the (PGA) Tour felt they were in a real position of strength coming off the DP World Tour winning their legal case in London; it weakened the other side’s position.
I think ultimately, when I try to remove myself from the situation and try to look at the bigger picture and I look 10 years down the line, I think ultimately it’s going to be good for the game of professional golf.
It unifies it and secures its financial future. There’s mixed emotions in there as well.
I don’t understand all the intricacies of what’s going on. There is a lot of ambiguity, a lot to still be thrashed out but at least it means the litigation goes away, which has been a massive burden for everyone and we can start to work toward some kind of way of unifying the game at the elite level.”
McIlroy also weighed in on his relationship with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan:
“I’ve dealt with Jay a lot closer than a lot of those guys have and from where we were a couple weeks ago to where we are today, I think the future of the PGA Tour looks brighter as a whole.
What that looks like for individual players in keeping a Tour card, bringing players back into the fold, that’s where the anger comes from.
I understand that and there still has to be consequences to actions. The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this Tour, started litigations against it.
We can’t just welcome them back in. That’s not going to happen. That’s what Jay was trying to get across yesterday.”
🎙️ "At the end of the day money talks and you'd rather have them as a partner."
Rory McIlroy says that the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf merger is 'ultimately good for the game of professional golf'.pic.twitter.com/pSe384LDUf