Rory McIlroy Describes Emotions After Men's Pro Golf Merger
IF ANYBODY expected Rory McIlroy to toe the party line when he addressed the world’s media ahead of his Canadian Open defence then they were in for a surprise.
Speaking less than 24 hours after it was announced that the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf had merged, McIlroy did not mince his words, saying: "I still hate LIV, I hate them. But we have to find a way to get on with it now. This doesn't mean there are no consequences. Those players should have to earn their way back in. They should still serve their punishments I hope it goes away and I fully expect that it does.”
The Northern Irishman has been a vocal critic of LIV Golf and everything it stands for and it is clear his stance has not softened.
He is not surprised that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has been accused of hypocrisy. McIlroy said: “I told Jay, you’ve galvanised everyone against something and now you’ve partnered it. Of course I can see how that looks hypocritical. The PIF and the Saudis want to spend money in the game of golf and they are not going to stop.
"How can we get that money into the game but use it in the right way? Hopefully this is the way of doing it. All I’ve tried to do is protect what the PGA Tour stands for and I think you will see that going forward.”
????? "At the end of the day money talks and you'd rather have them as a partner."— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 7, 2023
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/ifSW1BDnNp
Responding to calls for Monahan to resign, McIlroy said: "I’ve dealt with Jay a lot closer than a lot of guys have. From where we were a couple of weeks ago to where we are today, the future of the PGA Tour looks brighter.
"What that looks like for individual players in terms of keeping a tour card, and certain players coming back into the fold at the expense of the others, that’s where the anger comes from.
"We can’t just let these guys back in and pretend like nothing has happened. These guys irreparably damaged the PGA Tour and started litigation against us. They’re not just coming straight back in, that’s what Jay was trying to get across.”
News of the merger came as a surprise to PGA Tour players and McIlroy said that the first he heard of it was when he received a text from PGA Tour official Jimmy Dunne on Monday, asking if the pair could have a conversation the following day.
"We had a chat, he gave me the news and talked me through the deal, what he meant for us and the DP World Tour. It was a surprise. I knew there had been discussions in the background and lines of communication opened up.
"I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. When I look at 10 years down the line and take myself out of it, I think this is going to be good for the game of golf.
"It unifies it and secures its financial future. But there are mixed emotions in there as well.”
This whole debate is certain to dominate this week’s Canadian Open and will still be the hot topic when the world’s finest gather next week for the US Open, with a host of LIV golfers in the field.
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