Sports | July 11, 2022 11:13 am

Rory McIlroy Can’t Make Up His Mind About LIV Golf and PGA Tour Defectors

The world's second-ranked player is contradicting himself after saying LIV-PGA peace talks “need to happen”

Rory McIlroy during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course in Scotland
Rory McIlroy keeps puttering on about the LIV Golf series.
Stuart Kerr/R&A via Getty

After previously railing against the “duplicitous” players who spurned the PGA Tour to join up with Greg Norman and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, Rory McIlroy softened his stance last week and said that peace talks between the leagues “need to happen.”

The world’s second-ranked player has apparently changed his mind again and now says he’d be “super happy” if LIV Golf was eliminated immediately. “I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of what’s going on behind the scenes. In my opinion, there’s no room in the golf world for LIV Golf,” McIlroy told CBS reporter Kyle Porter in an interview prior to the upcoming 150th Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. “Let’s put it that way. I don’t agree with what LIV is doing. If LIV went away tomorrow, I’d be super happy. My stance hasn’t softened on that.”

Based on the totality of what the 33-year-old golfer has said about LIV Golf, we’d wager that what he said to Porter is pretty close to how he actually feels about the upstart league and that he truly has no interest in the PGA Tour giving peace a chance with its rival.

The R&A, which organizes the Open, opted not to extend an olive branch to LIV and denied Norman’s request for a special dispensation to play in this week’s tournament at St. Andrews. Norman, who won the British Open twice, isn’t even invited to the traditional dinner for past champs who have hoisted the Claret Jug.

“The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the championship and its heritage,” the R&A said, according to The New York Times. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend. We hope that when circumstances allow Greg will be able to attend again in the future.”

Not a lot of minced words there. Perhaps that’s a tact McIlroy, who will be at that dinner as a past Open champ (2014), should consider moving forward in order to avoid any confusion.

For what it’s worth, McIlroy is the favorite to win the Open at St. Andrews with 9-1 odds. The Northern Irishman hasn’t won a major yet this year, but he’s finished in the top 10 at all three.

“For me, [this Open Championship] feels more consequential because I’ve played really well the first three majors,” McIlroy told CBS Sports this week. “I got off to a great start at Southern Hills, couldn’t really keep it rolling. I had a decent chance at the U.S. Open as well. I finished second at Augusta [National], but I felt like I never had a chance that week. I’ve had three really strong finishes in the majors without getting over the line. I think, for me, that’s why it feels more consequential. I’m going in knowing that I’m playing good golf, so it’s another really good chance for me to break this drought I’ve been on for quite a while.”

The 2022 Open Championship begins on Thursday.