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McIlroy softens LIV stance: Saudi billions can ‘ultimately be a good thing’ for the sport

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In what appears quite a turnaround, Rory McIlroy appears to have softened his stance on the row between the LIV Golf Series and the PGA and DP World tours, calling for talks between the warring sides.

Not long ago, the 33-year-old called the LIV players “duplicitous” with reference to the way he saw them say one thing yet perform in another fashion, and has also been reported as falling out with former good friend Sergio Garcia with regard to the Spaniard’s outbursts against the more traditional tours.

Speaking to BBC NI, the four-time major winner said, “Look, there’s so much chat about where the money’s coming from and Saudi and everything else, look they sponsor so many other things and they’re all over sport.”

Acknowledging the Saudi money that has been invested into other sports, he continued, “Aramco 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.”

While recognizing the potential benefits, he has some reservations.

“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.

“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.

“And I think that’s the thing I have tried to advocate for the last few months, I think at this point if people are wanting to spend that much money into golf that’s wonderful, I just wish that we could have spent that much money within the structure that has existed for many decades in golf instead of being a big disruptor.”

The disruption Rory refers to has seemed to continue well into the week of the Scottish Open, a traditional warm-up event for the main event, and this week taking place with 14 of the top-15 in the world rankings teeing it up. Ironically the one player missing is the recent Canadian Open champion.

Earlier this week, confirmed LIV player Ian Poulter was the beneficiary of a hearing against the DP World Tour sanction that fined and banned LIV players from the event at The Renaissance Club this week, whilst Billy Horschel has come out with some strong anti-LIV rhetoric, telling players to be honest about why they have left the PGA Tour.

Recognized as a spokesman for the history of the sport, McIlroy continued.

“I wish it hadn’t have got that messy and in hindsight I think there were probably steps that were missed that wouldn’t have made it that messy,” he said.

“But I said this back at the very start in 2020, I think in the long term it will make the game better because I think it will force the tours to adapt and change and make the product better, and focus on maybe the fan engagement side of things and focus on maybe some stuff that they’ve been neglecting over the years.

“I think in the long term it will sort itself out, as everything else does, it will, and I think ultimately it will make the game, and the game of professional golf, a better place.”

In contrast to reports about the ill-feeling towards all those that have jumped ship, McIlroy states, “I think defection is a strong word. I understand why guys have went, especially the guys that are sort of in the latter stages of their career and if I was in their position, I’d seriously have to think about doing the same thing.

“It’s the younger guys to me that I find hard to understand because they’re losing years of their competitive career for monetary reasons. We all make decisions for different purposes. That’s fine. It’s different to what I’d do.

“Is there resentment? I played in Ryder Cup teams with these guys. Is there a difference of opinion? Yes. There is a difference of opinion and I would have done things differently.

“I think at this stage if you go and play on a different tour, then go and play on a different tour. I think having your cake and eating is the resentment that’s within the membership.

“Because there’s only 48 players on this tour, so not every so not everyone’s going to get an opportunity to go and play. You’re leaving all your peers behind to go and make money, which is fine.

“Just go over there, don’t try and come back and play over here again. That’s the tricky part and that’s where the resentment is coming from. For me, I don’t resent anyone. These guys are my friends, regardless of the decisions they make.”

The current world number 3 continues his preparation for next week’s historic 150th Open Championship, held at St. Andrews, the ‘Home of Golf’, and an event that he won in 2014 at Royal Liverpool.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rorytoolbox

    Jul 26, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Rory is the ultimate spoets washer. Takes chinese sweatshop money from nike anne complains about saudis. China os killing muslims, christians and jews inside their own country. Millions a year. But saudi is bad. Rory is a sports washer and his statement is telling. They should invest in existing structures. He wants his cut. Rory is a tool and ill he happy if he never wins a major again.

  2. geohogan

    Jul 10, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Rory knows MBS “the psychopath, as described on 60 minutes, July 10”
    can and has sent hit teams around the world to “get” his enemies.

  3. PJ

    Jul 9, 2022 at 7:47 am

    Rory didn’t have a problem taking the Nike Chinese sweat shop millions so he shouldn’t have an issue with Saudi millions.

  4. Brian

    Jul 8, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Obviously angling to join now, after all his previous pontificating

  5. Ryan

    Jul 7, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    What a turd. This is the set up statement for him to join LIV. Sooooo much more obnoxious riding on his high horse initially only to flip flop. Guess he realized he hasn’t won a major in years and lost whatever juice he used to have. How duplicitous….

  6. Alice Cleary

    Jul 7, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    Finally someone in the PGA takes a neutral stand. Go Rory!! The PGA could have just worked together to have them, the DP, and LIV league be a new and great thing for Golf. The money that American golfers in the LIV league get will be money that will well be spent in the USA to better our economy. If the PGA was not so worried about being #1 and thought about what this could do for all pro golfers , our country and the world of golf it could have been a really great thing. Everyone could have had a piece of the pie but the PGA took insult to it instead of seeing new strength for the PGA also. It also could have given opportunity to the PGA as it has done with the Golfers that have joined the LIV league. Unfortunately Greed of losing money and players was quite a strong motivator to make selfish demands and try to control peoples ( golfers) lives , it looks as though their decisions have backfire. The PGA has made it impossible for anyone to be on top when it could have been the entire sport of golf. Please share this with the world to see a different point of view
    Thank You
    A.C.

    • LL

      Jul 8, 2022 at 5:25 am

      The PGA Tour is not the game of golf. Rory is the ultimate beta male. He was screaming about how bad LIV is for months and now he has changed his tune. His virtue signaling is sickening.

  7. JTO

    Jul 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I like Rory McIlroy, I think he’s tried to be honest with his feelings
    but the environment is changing. This whole thing will change and evolve into something that we haven’t seen before.
    I think he’s eluding to that. I’m not a fan of LIV but it’s here to
    stay. Money talks!!!!!

  8. JTO

    Jul 7, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    I like Rory

  9. Doug DeNunzio

    Jul 7, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    We will see if Rory decides to join the LIV Tour or stay on the PGA tour.

  10. James

    Jul 7, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    PGA Tour is afraid of competition and afraid they’ll lose there top players for a less frantic schedule. LIV will be around for along time, so the PGA Tour better get use to it. If the Tour wants all the hype of LIV, don’t speak about them. Keep talking about LIV and the Tour just promotes LIV even more.
    I think the Head of the PGA Tour is a little incompetent in his job and should be FIRED.

  11. Tom Kay

    Jul 7, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    This marks the end of Rory’s bromance with Brandel.

  12. skeptic

    Jul 7, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    In tomorrow’s news: Rory McIlroy— Latest Player to Join Saudi-backed LIV Tour

  13. Mike Golf

    Jul 7, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    McIlroy, glad to see you are supporting the European tour, I’m m sure it’not about the money now , is it. Kettle !! What colour!

  14. Tigers Waffle House Mistress

    Jul 7, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    To late douche nozzle.

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19th Hole

‘Sh*t happens’ – LPGA pro DQ’d for extremely rare equipment mishap involving new Ping G430 driver

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LPGA Tour player Maja Stark was hit with a costly rules violation during prior to the second round of last week’s Ascendant LPGA event.

After posting a score of 75 (+4) in round one, the 22-year-old Swede had an uphill climb to make the cut. However, she never got a chance to tee it up for her second round due to a non-conforming club.

In the first round, Stark used a driver with a club head that was not yet on the USGA list of conforming driver heads. The driver was the Ping G430 driver according to Golf Digest, which isn’t available for retail until this upcoming January, and just hit the USGA Conforming List yesterday.

Stark took the disqualification in stride and posted on Instagram to explain the situation.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Maja Stark (@majastark1)

The LPGA also issued a statement to Golf Digest saying:

“After the conclusion of Round One of The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, it was discovered that Maja Stark used a driver throughout her round that was not on the List of Conforming Driver Heads.Model Local Rule G-1; List of Conforming Driver Heads is included on the 2022 LPGA Rules of Play Card and is in effect for every competition. The penalty for a breach of this Model Local Rule is disqualification.

After speaking with the player, the use of the driver to make a stroke during Round One was confirmed, and the penalty of disqualification was applied under Model Local Rule G-1.”

Stark got a win earlier this year at the ISPS Handa World Invitational which locked up her LPGA card for next season.

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Beefed up Charlie Woods and his ‘PGA Tour quality swing’ sends golf fans wild

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Fresh off of the low round of his career (68) at the Notah Begay III Junior National Golf Championship, a Charlie Woods swing video has hit the internet.

Looking much bigger and stronger than he did at the PNC Championship last year, the video shows Charlie’s smooth swing.

In the tweet, Daniel Rapaport of Barstool Sports shares his opinion of the swing.

“Charlie Woods keeps getting purer. I mean this is a PGA Tour quality swing.”

Rapaport wasn’t the only one pumped up over Charlie’s swing either, with hundreds of golf fans excitedly reacting to the latest video.

For better or worse, expectations are sky high for the son of the 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.

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19th Hole

‘WTF is a FIGJAM?’ – Greg Norman left confused by golf fan’s jibe involving infamous Mickelson nickname

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Few golfers polarize their audience in the way Phil Mickelson does, which is why he is almost universally known as either Lefty or FIGJAM.

It’s the simplest thing to work out the first of the nicknames — despite being naturally right-handed, Mickelson plays golf in a southpaw fashion — but as for the unusual alternative, that’s best left to the dictionaries.

Collins English Dictionary explains it as Australian slang for ‘a very conceited person,’ but let’s get real. The acronym stands for ‘F***, I’m Good, Just Ask Me.’

In 2020, golf blog site lyingfour.com published an article detailing the pros and cons of the Mickelson experience, titling it ‘Phil Mickelson is not a nice guy’, and updated it a year later with the question, ‘Why is Phil Mickelson popular?’

Not that this is an attack on the brilliant winner of six majors, and a player that would have dominated golf for several years had it not been for a certain Tiger Woods. Indeed, for years he has been a fan favorite.

But for many of the players on tour, Phil has become something of an enigma, and not always in a good way.

From stories of his fraud case to legendary gambling, to what some consider a fake front to the smiling at every gallery, Phil divides opinion.

So, how did LIV CEO Greg Norman appear completely unaware of the FIGJAM moniker?

In a recent promo video, Norman is joined by Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Wade Ormsby and Cam Smith to read and answer some questions and points sent in by viewers.

At one point, one viewer sends in his jibe:

“I might be mad but I think Greg Norman may be the biggest FIGJAM in the world. Just saying like…”

Unaware of what’s being asked, Norman asks, “What the f*** is a FIGJAM?!” before commenting, ‘He’s right.”

Ormsby comments he doesn’t agree with the comment, before the captain of ‘Team Australia’ and most recent major winner, Smith, calms the situation by ensuring his ‘boss’ that, “I don’t agree with that either, Greg, I think you do a great job, mate.”

They then drink to Team Aussie and, off camera, no doubt consider who the biggest FIGJAM may be.

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