Everyone’s favorite golf rivalry between the PGA Tour and the LIV Tour is kind of in a strange, limbo state at the moment.
At its height, the content stemming from the breakaway tour was constant and very much entertaining. Every couple of days, a new, high-tier PGA golfer “defected” and went to the LIV Tour in search of a better schedule and much more financially lucrative paycheck.
But then seemingly out of nowhere, the two tours that hated each other with a passion put their differences aside (did they?) and decided to end the back-and-forth drama with a merger that rocked the golf world.
Before that shocking union, LIV tour members and players who stayed loyal to the PGA tour were basically at war with one another, and it honestly was pretty good for the game of golf. Since they merged, how much have you heard about golf? Probably not as much when the feud between the tours was going full throttle…
Throughout it all, there has been one man who has been “anti-LIV” more than anyone else, and that golfer is Rory McIlroy. It was a natural fit to have Rory play the “why would you leave the PGA” character throughout the entire story, and even though the two tours are now allegedly working together, McIlroy’s feelings towards the controversial LIV Tour haven’t wavered a bit.
In an interview with BBC Sports, Rory gave some fiery soundbites when discussing the latest on the PGA and LIV Tour. A recent rumor said that while the merger was taking place, there were talks of offering LIV team captain roles to both McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
Putting arguably the two biggest names in golf into the LIV Golf team format would definitely draw more attention to the alternative tour (it is still very difficult to tell if the PGA and LIV are working together even after the merger), but based on Rory’s commentary, that won’t be happening anytime soon, if ever at all.
The reporter first threw out the question in regards to the LIV captain offer rumor that had been making its way around the golf industry:
“How did you feel about them possibly making you a team captain?”
Rory didn’t hold back with his answer, saying:
“If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on Earth, I would retire. That’s how I feel about it.”
After that answer, the reporter had to somewhat gather himself and came back asking if McIlroy was serious in saying that. Rory responded:
“Well I’d play the majors, but yeah, I’d be pretty comfortable.”
The person from the BBC then tried to step back and ask a broader question, inquiring:
“In terms of you say apathy around the game, how do you feel? You showed loyalty to the tour, the tour didn’t show any loyalty to you guys.”
Tough question, but since Rory had just given that “headline” answer earlier, the reporter put all the cards on the table. McIlroy thought for a moment, then said:
“Oh, I don’t know about that. I think they were trying to do what was right for the tour, which in turn means what’s right for the players on that tour. I think I read a quote they (LIV) were negotiating their survival, right? So I think that’s a very fair thing for a business to do.”
And to wrap it all up, Rory still showed his loyalty to the PGA Tour and laid out the basic framework for him to continue playing:
“I think I’m apathetic to all the noise around it and, again, as long as the tournaments that I play keep on existing, I’ll be very happy to play them and be a professional golfer.”
The intense interview can be listened to below. BBC Sports Scotland posted the clip, with the caption stating:
“Rory McIlroy responds to revelations that he and Tiger Woods could have been offered LIV team ownership as part of the PGA Tour’s proposed merger with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.”
🗣️'If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth, I would retire'
Rory McIlroy responds to revelations that he and Tiger Woods could have been offered LIV team ownership as part of the PGA Tour's proposed merger with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund ⤵️ #BBCGolfpic.twitter.com/Ig0pAqY7pi