Since the inception of the LIV Golf Series, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy has not only remained loyal to the PGA Tour but has been one of the loudest and most well-known voices to speak out against the breakaway league backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, McIlroy discussed the future of the sport as a whole and admitted that he had serious concerns.
“I don’t want a fractured game,” he said, per an ESPN and Reuters report. “I never have. You look at some other sports and what’s happened, and the game of golf is ripping itself apart right now. … It’s no good for the guys on, you know, this side or the sort of traditional system, and it’s no good for the guys on the other side, either. It’s no good for anyone. There is a time and a place for it. I just think right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time.”
The comments from the victor of 22 PGA Tour events come as LIV Golf continues its federal antitrust lawsuit against the tour (though four LIV Golf players recently asked to be dismissed as plaintiffs in the suit). Additionally, it was reported late Wednesday night that the PGA Tour was now countersuing LIV Golf.
“I’ve always said I think there is a time and a place where everyone that’s involved here should sit down and try to work together,” McIlroy said. “It’s very hard for that to happen right now when there’s two lawsuits going on.”
In an interview with the BBC, the 33-year-old native of Northern Ireland said it’s now on the members of LIV Golf to reach out to the tour in which they departed from.
“I would just say the ball is in their court,” McIlroy said. “If they want to come to the table and try to play nicely within the sandbox that’s already created, the opportunity is there. … I’ve probably said a few things that are maybe too inflammatory at times, but it just comes from the heart and how much I hate what this is doing to the game. If we can send rockets to the moon and bring them back again and have them land on their own, I’m sure we can figure out how to make professional golf cohesive again.”
The next LIV Golf event on the docket is the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok, scheduled for Oct. 7 through Oct. 9. The PGA Tour is holding the Sanderson Farms Championship from Thursday through Sunday in Jackson, Mississippi.
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