13 July 2023

Rory McIlroy says he would rather ‘retire’ than play LIV Golf events

13 July 2023

Rory McIlroy has made it abundantly clear how he felt about short-lived proposals that he and Tiger Woods could own LIV Golf teams and play in at least 10 events a season.

“If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth I would retire. That’s how I feel about it,” McIlroy said after an opening 64 in the Genesis Scottish Open.

McIlroy was speaking to the written press for the first time since documents were released on Tuesday as part of a US Senate sub-committee hearing on the framework agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls LIV Golf.

Before the agreement was reached, PCP Capital Partners gave a presentation to two PGA Tour officials entitled “The Best of Both Worlds” that featured the McIlroy and Woods proposal as part of a lengthy wish-list which included PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan becoming a member of the R&A and Augusta National.

Neither had any chance of success even if McIlroy – who said he still “hated” LIV when the framework agreement was announced – has now taken a step back from his role as the biggest advocate of the PGA Tour.

“There’s quite a bit of apathy towards everything at the moment,” McIlroy said.“There wasn’t a lot of new information there for me (in the Senate hearing), there maybe was for other people, but as I said, I’ve almost been too close to it over the last year and a bit so it’s nice to be able to try to distance myself a bit from it.

“I think I’m apathetic to all the noise around it and as long as the tournaments that I play keep on existing I’ll be very happy to play them and be a professional golfer and try to get a little bit closer every day to trying to master my craft.“The thing that I’ve realised is, no matter what I do or say or try to show leadership, I’m going to be just fine.

“I’ve tried to step up for maybe the guys that didn’t have a voice early on, but I think with everything that’s transpired over the last few weeks the players are going to find themselves more and more at the table to try to get whatever that is they want out of it.

“Again, as long as I get to play the golf that I’ve known over the last 15 years of my career, I’ll be happy.”

Asked if the PGA Tour had failed to show the same loyalty to him as he, and other players, had to it, McIlroy added: “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 were negotiating their survival. So I think that’s a very fair thing for a business to do.”

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