Rory McIlroy says golf is “tearing itself apart” as tensions between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV continue to divide the sport.
McIlroy, a 22-time PGA Tour champion, said the divide is down to player injuries on both sides.
“I don’t want a broken game,” McIlroy said. I never have. You look at other sports and what’s happened and the game of golf is tearing itself apart right now.
“It doesn’t work for men, you know, it doesn’t work for men on this side or the traditional system and the other side. It doesn’t work for anybody. There’s a time and a place for it. I think right now, with everything else, maybe it’s not the right time.”
Things are starting to heat up on the court, with many golfers protesting bans from other tours to participate in the LIV event.
“I always think there’s a time and place for everybody involved here to sit down and try to work together,” McIlroy said. “Now that there are two lawsuits, it’s very difficult for that to happen.”
Those on the LIV circuit have also insisted they receive points from the official World Golf Ranking, something McIlroy has no problem with considering so many talented golfers are affiliated with LIV.
But with LIV playing three rounds — just 54 holes — while the PGA Tour plays four rounds in each tournament, McIlroy said there would have to be some sort of deal if that were to happen.
“You can’t make your own laws,” he said. “There are criteria, everyone knows what they are and if you want to pivot to meet the criteria you want.
“Of course I don’t have a problem with getting rank points. But you just have to meet the requirements, and if you don’t meet the requirements, it’s hard to explain why you should get them.”
As for the PGA Tour and LIV making peace with each other, that seems unlikely to happen, at least as long as Jay Monahan is PGA Tour commissioner.
Monahan reiterated his longstanding comments about LIV in an interview published by ESPN on Wednesday.
When asked if the tours could coexist, Monaghan replied: “I would give the same answer, to which the answer is that they went their separate ways and I think we’ve been going our separate ways, and I don’t. I don’t see that happening, I don’t see it, I don’t see it happening.”
Monahan expressed his belief that the PGA Tour will surpass LIV.
“Any young kid today, any kid who’s playing the game going forward, wants to win the big championships, the big tournaments and put themselves in a place and on a path to the golf journey. To the PGA Tour and to … the top level,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to evolve and get stronger in every single area of that spectrum and journey.”