Sports | August 29, 2022 11:25 am

Rory McIlroy Uses FedEx Cup Win as Platform to Throw Shade at LIV Golf

McIlroy closed with a four-under 66 at East Lake Golf Club to become the first three-time winner

PGA Tour defender Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates winning the FedEx Cup in 2022, and throwing shade at the LIV Golf Series
It was fitting that PGA Tour defender Rory McIlroy won the FedEx Cup.
Sam Greenwood/Getty

Trailing leader Scottie Scheffler by six strokes heading into the final round of the Tour Championship and 10 shots back after two holes, Rory McIlroy closed with a four-under 66 at East Lake Golf Club and escaped with a one-stroke win to become the first three-time winner of the FedEx Cup. Adding the $18 million McIlroy banked for winning this year’s title to his winnings for his previous titles (2016 and 2019), the Northern Irishman has now earned more than $50 million in FedEx Cup bonus money in his career.

The PGA Tour’s biggest star as long as Tiger Woods isn’t playing an event, McIlroy has been one of the loudest voices shouting down LIV Golf and past Tour members who have defected to that startup series. Following his FedExCup win on Sunday, McIlroy delivered more of the same and threw direct and indirect shade at LIV.

“What it’s done to the world of men’s professional golf is ripped it apart, which is unfortunate,” the four-time major winner told CNN Sport. “I think there are ways to mend that and bring it back together. But with everything else that’s going on right now, I don’t see that happening anytime in the future. But there’s certain times where things just need to be done and you have to put yourself out there to stand up for what you believe in. And I feel like that’s what I’ve done this year and I’ll continue to keep doing that, but at the same time still try to be the best player in the world.”

Now ranked No. 3 in the world after starting 2022 as the ninth-ranked golfer on the planet, McIlroy trails top-ranked Scheffler and world No. 2 Cameron Smith, who may announce he is defecting to LIV Golf as soon as today.

Even if Smith leaves and brings a few more of the Tour’s elite players with him, don’t expect McIlroy to change his stripes or his stance.

“I guess every chance I get, I’m trying to defend what I feel is the best place to play elite professional golf in the world,” he said. “It’s in some ways fitting that I was able to get this done today to sort of round off a year that has been very, very challenging and different.”

The challenges and ongoing weirdness between PGA Tour players and their former peers will continue at the DP World Tour’s (formerly the European Tour) BMW PGA Championship next week. With Tour players and LIVers both cleared to participate, McIlroy will face off against defectors he’s criticized. “It’s a hard one for me to stomach the fact that I go over to play an event and 18 of those guys are going to be playing in the same field,” McIlroy said. “I don’t like that, that’s not something that I really want to be any part of, but for me, just as committed as I am to the PGA Tour, I want to make that commitment to the DP World Tour as well.”

As of now, the DP event’s entry list includes high-profile LIV converts including Lee Westwood, Sergio García, Patrick Reed, Martin Kaymer, Richard Bland, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter.