Rory McIlroy Has That 'Sacrificial Lamb' Feeling

Star golfer concedes advantages to PGA-LIV merger
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2023 6:30 PM CDT
Rory McIlroy Has That 'Sacrificial Lamb' Feeling
Rory McIlroy blasts out of the bunker on the 11th hole during the Canadian Open Pro-Am in Toronto on Wednesday.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

One of the PGA Tour's biggest stars has made clear, merger or not, how he feels about LIV Golf. "I still hate LIV," Rory McIlroy told reporters Wednesday. "Like, I hate LIV." But he's still a fan of the PGA. And he hasn't lost faith in its commissioner, Jay Monahan, who put the deal with Saudi interests together without the knowledge of McIlroy, among many others, ESPN reports. It's not clear how long his feeling of betrayal will linger. McIlroy had chosen to stick with the PGA, supporting the tour in its battle, instead of taking more money and jumping to LIV. "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," he said.

But he also sounded accepting of the deal, per the New York Times. "At least it means that the litigation goes away, which has been a massive burden for everyone that's involved with the tour and that's playing the tour, and we can start to work toward some sort of way of unifying the game at the elite level." Much of the merger is not yet worked out, McIlroy acknowledged. The future of golf appears brighter now than it did a couple of weeks ago, McIlroy said, adding that he wants that future to not include the LIV Golf League. He hopes that entity disappears after this season.

McIlroy, a member of the PGA board, said he's expressed his feelings to Monahan about the "hypocritical" merger. "I told Jay you have galvanized everyone against something and now they are our partners." In the long run, McIlroy conceded, "It's hard to keep up with people who have more money than anyone else." And the Saudis have billions to invest in golf. But he's not ready to embrace his colleagues who took the LIV money. "The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this tour, started litigation against it," McIlroy said. "Like, we can't just welcome them back in." (Read more PGA Tour stories.)

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