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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Rory McIlroy offers surprising new stance on LIV Golf

Rory McIlroy on the course

May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy has been one of the most vocal critics of LIV Golf since the Saudi-backed league was formed, but he now believes the PGA Tour should sit down at the negotiation table with its new rival.

McIlroy told reporters ahead of the DP World Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship on Wednesday that he hates the way “golf is ripping itself apart.” The four-time major champion thinks representatives from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf need to start working together in the near future.

“I don’t want a fractured game, McIlroy said, via Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated. “The game of golf is ripping itself apart and that’s no good for anyone. It’s not good for the guys on the traditional system or the guys on the other side either.

“Right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time but we probably can’t leave it too much longer. I’m all for getting around the table and sorting things out.”

McIlroy acknowledged that it would be difficult for the two sides to work together given that several LIV players are currently suing the PGA Tour. However, he feels LIV golfers should be eligible for the Official World Golf Ranking as long as LIV meets certain criteria.

“If Dustin Johnson is somehow 100th in the world it’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game,” McIlroy said. “But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there, everyone knows what they are and if they want to pivot to meet the criteria they can.”

LIV Golf has a unique format that involves 54-hole events, teams and small fields featuring 48 golfers. That structure makes it difficult to determine how LIV golfers would fit into the OWGR. If LIV is not accepted into the OWGR, its players will eventually have a difficult time qualifying for majors.

If you heard what McIlroy said about LIV Golf a few months ago, you can see how drastically his tune has changed. He obviously has accepted that LIV is a real threat to the PGA Tour and is not going anywhere.

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