Should LIV Golf and PGA Tour Already Hold Peace Talks? Rory McIlroy Thinks So.
"That needs to happen," McIlroy recently told BBC Sport Northern Ireland
With the PGA Tour seemingly losing members to the upstart LIV Golf series with each passing day, some people have started to believe that the two leagues need to figure out a way to iron out their differences.
Despite previously coming down hard on LIV Golf and being one of the main beneficiaries of players defecting to the Saudi-backed tour, Rory McIlroy is now one of the people calling for peace in pro golf.
McIlroy, who previously called players who initially pledged loyalty to the PGA Tour but then left for piles of cash from LIV “duplicitous,” told BBC Sport Northern Ireland that peace talks between the leagues “need to happen.”
“It’s unfortunate. It’s messy. I wish it hadn’t got that messy,” McIlroy said. “In hindsight, there were probably steps that were missed that wouldn’t have made it as messy. There’s so much chat about where the money is coming from Saudi and everything else. They sponsor so many other things. They are all over sport.”
Even though the state of play on the LIV Golf tour has been subpar thus far, the new series has been gaining ground with sports bettors and will likely continue to poach players from the PGA Tour moving forward. That being the case, perhaps it makes sense that McIlroy is softening his stance as he sees which way the wind, and all the Saudi money, is blowing.
“Aramco [the Saudi government’s oil company] are big sponsors of Formula One, the Aramco Ladies Series in golf, which has actually been really good for the ladies in terms of big prize funds and so on, so I understand people’s reservations with everything. But at the same time, if these people are serious about investing billions of dollars into golf, I think ultimately that’s a good thing,” he said. “But it has to be done the right way and I think if they were to invest, having it be invested inside the existing structures.”
Quite a reversal, but maybe McIlroy is just hoping to make sure he’ll have a seat, or a lounge, on the LIV Golf party plane if he wants it.
That plane may be bringing some golfers to the British Open, which has said it will not bar LIV players from taking the course as long as they qualify for the July 14 event. Perhaps the peace talks McIlroy is clamoring for can take place then.
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