Rory McIlroy believes that if golfers like Jon Rahm continue to make the move from the traditional PGA and DP World Tour formats to the infamous LIV Golf series, it will "cannibalise" the sport.
This week, it was announced that the current Masters champion, Rahm, would become the latest high-profile name to make the switch to LIV, following the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Phil Mickelson.
Rahm is also reportedly earning a record-breaking £450 million to sign on with LIV.
The 29-year-old Spaniard said: "I made this decision because I believe it's the best for me and my family, and everybody I've been able to talk to has been really supportive of me, so I'm very comfortable with my decision.
"I'm no stranger to hearing some negative things on social media or in the media. It's part of what it is; we're public figures, but you just learn to deal with it, right? This certainly won't define who I am or change who I am."
McIlroy, one of the biggest critics of the breakaway league, believes that moves like Rahm's will cause the sport to eat itself, similar to how boxing's many organisations do.
"My fear is that we continue down this path where we have competing tours, and it divides the eyeballs that are on the game," he said this week.
"Some people like LIV, the majority of people like the PGA Tour, but if LIV starts to take a few players each and every year, it's really going to be divided, and that's no good for anyone.
🗣️ "The European Tour are going to have to rewrite the rules"
Rory McIlroy is hoping the Ryder Cup eligibility rules surrounding LIV Golf players will be looked at so Jon Rahm can face USA in 2025 🇪🇺🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vBc6IpUutR
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) December 8, 2023
"You're basically cannibalising yourself as a sport, sort of the same as what boxing has done with all the different organisations and a few other sports have as well. To me, having all the best golfers under one umbrella is the best way forward because I think that's really what the public wants."
McIlroy also believes that the lack of eyes on the game will devalue the sport due to the scarcity of players at future majors. He believes getting everyone together is better for the game going forward.
"The majors are already so big, but my fear is that if we keep going down this path, then all the best players are only going to get together four times a year. That means golf is only going to be relevant four times a year, and that's good for no one in the game," the Hollywood native added.
"We need to get everyone back together and try to forget about what has happened in the past. Let bygones be bygones, and we all move forward together - I think that's what's going to be the best thing for the professional game."