LIV Golf's biggest critic, Rory McIlroy, has sensationally admitted that the new PGA-LIV merger could benefit the game of golf in the future
It was announced yesterday that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour agreed to merge with the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit, LIV Golf. This comes a year after golf's civil war divided players and fans alike.
World number one Rory McIlroy and LIV CEO Greg Norman, on more than one occasion, took swipes at each other for their stances. However, McIlroy has today said that the deal could improve golf going forward, rather than tearing it apart even further.
McIlroy said in a press conference ahead of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday, "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 look at the bigger picture 10 years down the line, I think it's going to be good for the game of professional golf. It unifies it and secures its financial future. There are 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."
Rory McIlroy has his say on the PGA Tour merger with LIV Golf, says it’s ultimately good for the game. pic.twitter.com/NuKZnBtw31
— LIV Golf Latest (@LIVGolfLatest) June 7, 2023
Although McIlroy has sought to find peace with LIV Golf, the Holywood native has admitted that the golfers who took the Saudi cash cannot be welcomed back so easily. However, he also admitted that money had a big say in the ordeal.
He stated, "The future of the PGA looks brighter as an entity. There still has to be consequences. We can’t just welcome those who walked away back in and pretend nothing happened. That won’t happen. I still hate LIV. I hope it goes away and full expect it does. But at the end of the day money talks and you'd rather have them as a partner."
Defending champion McIlroy will get going at the RBC Canadian Open tomorrow. The event starts on June 8 and will finish on June 11