Rory McIlroy on LIV Golf: Decisions Made Purely for Money Don't Usually End Well

Adam WellsJune 8, 2022

DUBLIN, OHIO - JUNE 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 05, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy spoke out about the wave of players leaving the PGA Tour to play for the new LIV Golf Series.

Speaking to reporters before the start of the Canadian Open, McIlroy said the decisions "you make in your life purely for money doesn't usually end up going the right way."

He went on to note he's made those types of decisions before, "a couple times in my life."

There have been at least eight players thus far who have resigned their PGA Tour membership in order to play in the new circuit that is being funded by the Saudi Arabian government.

A majority of the players who have spoken about their decision to join LIV have said the money offered was a key factor.

Dustin Johnson, who is being paid around $125 million to join the series, told reporters on Tuesday he "chose what’s best for me and my family."

Phil Mickelson, who is also playing for the LIV tour but hasn't resigned his PGA Tour membership, is being paid around $200 million for his participation, per Brentley Romine of the Golf Channel.

Tuesday's press conference with Johnson and other players at Centurion Golf Club in London got heated amid questions about working events on behalf of Saudi Arabia given the country's track record of human rights abuses.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

Graham McDowell was really the only LIV Golf participant willing to (somewhat) engage with broader, non-golf questions so I’m sharing his full answer here. You can decide how to view it, as well as Ari’s decision to wrap the presser here. <a href="https://t.co/Dyp0omz4EX">pic.twitter.com/Dyp0omz4EX</a>

Per ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg, Associated Press reporter Rob Harris was led out of the press conference by security when he tried to ask a question and was cut off by an LIV spokesperson.

McIlroy told reporters last week he was "indifferent" when the field for the first LIV event was announced. The three-time major champion noted he has "some very close friends" playing in the London tournament, but "it's not something that I would do personally."

The LIV Series is scheduled to begin with a 54-hole event that begins on Thursday.

McIlroy is in the field for the Canadian Open that begins on Thursday. He's also scheduled to play in the U.S. Open next week at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.