Rory McIlroy Responds to Suggestion He’d Join LIV Golf for $946 Million

Rory McElroy.

Getty Rory McIlroy celebrates in 2023.

Rory McIlroy responded Wednesday to a suggestion from his former manager Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler that he could leave the PGA Tour to join the  Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf for a speculated $946 million deal.

Speaking to Bunkered on February 23, Chandler suggested “it’s a possibility” that his ex-client could leave the PGA TOUR.

LIV signed numerous high-profile golfers like Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Phil Mickelson, yet McIlroy once said he’d “rather retire” than follow them into the breakaway league.

“If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth I would retire,” Reuters quoted McIlroy to have said in 2023. “That’s how I feel about it.”

That vehement opposition to LIV Golf appears to have cooled somewhat of late as McIlroy appeared to concede on February 28 that there’s a chance he’d sign with commissioner Greg Norman.

Speaking ahead of his participation in the upcoming Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beachers, Florida, this week, McIlroy reacted to Chandler’s recent comments.

“[You] never know,” he told reporters, according to Golf Week. “He might know a few things. Who knows.”

For Chandler, the chances of McIlroy signing with LIV were somewhere between good and 10%.

Responding, McIlroy said: “Somewhere in the middle, maybe.”

Roy McIlroy Said He’s Yet to Receive an Offer From LIV

Contrary to popular opinion, McIlroy said he’s yet to receive an offer from LIV Golf.

Tiger Woods rejected a “nine-figure deal” from LIV, and though McIlroy has been associated with  Woods in reports he also declined to join, an official offer “never” arrived, he said, according to CNN.

“Just didn’t engage,” he said in January. “At this point, I’ve pretty much set my stall out.”

In the same story, CNN looked back to a cooling of McIlroy’s stance on LIV as he’s come to accept the league “as part of our sport.”

“I think that was a bit of a mistake on my part because I now realize not everyone is in my position or in Tiger’s position,” he told the Stick to Football podcast, which is hosted by the former Manchester United and England soccer player Gary Neville.

“You get this offer and what do you do? We all turned professional to make a living playing the sports that we do.

“And I think that’s what I realized over the past two years — I can’t judge people for making that decision.”

LIV’s Aggressive Recruitment Isn’t Stopping Anytime Soon

Though LIV Golf already has some of golf’s top stars in its league, commissioner Greg Norman doesn’t appear to be halting recruitment anytime soon.

In December 2023, LIV signed 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm in a deal that AP News reported is so high it’s believed “to be more money than the PGA Tour’s entire prize fund.”

Golf Digest later suggested the figure could be $450 million.

Speaking to Australian Golf Digest on February 27, Norman said he’s not stopping there as he is focusing on signing Hideki Matsuyama — a 32-year-old with 18 tour wins and one major championship; the 2021 Masters.

“We’ve been trying to get Hideki Matsuyama,” Norman said. “I don’t mind admitting that.”

He added: “When Hideki won in LA, what’s the first thing I did? I said, ‘Congratulations, Hideki. I’m proud of you, mate’.”

As for McIlroy, he’ll be hoping to hit top form in the Honda Classic at the PGA National Members Club in Florida this week, as he hopes to build momentum toward The Masters in April — the only major he’s yet to get his hands on.

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