Rory McIlroy broke his silence on the surprising news regarding the LIV Golf and PGA Tour merger. McIlroy has been one of the biggest critics of LIV Golf and the star doubled down on his stance admitting he “still hate[s] LIV.”
“But it’s not LIV, I think that’s the thing,” McIlroy told reporters on June 7, 2023 ahead of the Canadian Open. “I still hate LIV. Like, I hate LIV. I hope it goes away, and I will fully expect that it does.
“And I think that’s where the distinction here is. This is the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the PIF, very different from LIV. All I’ve tried to do is protect what the PGA Tour is and what the PGA Tour stands for, and I think it will continue to do that.
“So look, going forward, I hope that there may be a team element and you’re going to see maybe me, maybe whoever else play in some sort of team golf. But I don’t think it’ll look anything like LIV has looked, and I think that’s a good thing.”
How Much Money Did LIV Golf Offer Rory McIlroy? The Star Turned Down $400 Million, Per Report
The top PGA Tour golfers could be experiencing serious FOMO for previously turning down lucrative offers from LIV Golf. According to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., McIlroy turned down a $400 million offer to join LIV Golf, while Tiger Woods passed on $800 million to remain part of the PGA Tour. During a June 7 press conference, McIlroy refuted the report that he turned down a financial offer from LIV.
CNBC initially broke the news of the PGA-LIV merger on June 6 which appeared to take many of the PGA Tour golfers by surprise. Collin Morikawa hinted that he found out about the news on Twitter.
“I love finding out morning news on Twitter,” Morikawa tweeted on June 6.
PGA Tour-LIV Golf Merger: Grayson Murray Told Rory McIlroy to ‘F*** Off’ During Heated Meeting
Things got heated between McIlroy and fellow PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray during commissioner Jay Monahan’s June 6 meeting with the athletes to discuss the merger. According to The Telegraph’s James Corrigan, Murray told McIlroy to “f*** off” following McIlroy telling the golfer to “play better” after a heated exchange with Monahan.
“McIlroy kept quiet until Grayson Murray, the world No. 227, shouted for Monahan to resign, saying ‘we don’t trust you, Jay- you lied to our face,'” Corrigan wrote on June 7. “McIlroy yelled back ‘just play better, Grayson,’ but in a mutinous atmosphere the world No. 3’s [defense] of Monahan apparently did not achieve unanimous approval.
“Golf Channel first reported the exchange and another source has confirmed to Telegraph Sport that Murray responded by telling McIlroy to ‘f*** off.'”
Rory McIlroy: ‘Feel Somewhat Like a Sacrificial Lamb’
McIlroy finds himself in a precarious situation given the golfer became the face of the PGA Tour’s push to encourage individuals against defecting to LIV. The golf star admitted that he feels like a “sacrificial lamb” given the news of the partnership.
“It’s hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I’ve put myself out there and this is what happens,” McIlroy added. “Again, removing myself from the situation, I see how this is better for the game of golf, there’s no denying that. But for me as an individual, yeah there’s just gonna have to be conversations that are had.”