Rory McIlroy Says Ruling on LIV Allows FedEx Playoffs to Continue Without 'Sideshow'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2022

Rory McIlroy (Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy celebrated a court ruling that will prevent players who made the jump to LIV Golf from taking part in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs.

"From my vantage point, common sense prevailed, and I thought it was the right decision," McIlroy told reporters Wednesday. "Now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is golf. We can all move forward and not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice."

Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford sought a temporary restraining order against the PGA Tour's ban on LIV players to make them eligible for the playoffs. A U.S. District Court in California denied that request Tuesday.

McIlroy has been an outspoken critic of players trying to accept the lucrative guaranteed contracts from LIV without relinquishing their right to play on the PGA Tour.

The four-time major champion reiterated that stance ahead of the playoffs:

"Guys are going to make their own decisions that they feel is best for them, and that's totally fine. Again, I don't begrudge anyone for going over to play LIV or taking guaranteed money. If that's your prerogative and what you want to do, totally fine. I think where the resentment comes from, from the membership of this tour, is the fact that they want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences, and anyone that's read the PGA Tour handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them."

Justin Thomas, another one of the Tour's top players, expressed a similar sentiment:

"It was personal to me from the beginning. It's kind of like I said from the start. Those guys were given an opportunity to go play and just go play. You can have your cake, but you don't need to eat it, too. And they got their fair share of a large, large amount of cake, and go eat it on your own means. You don't need to bring it onto our tour."

Although Tuesday's court ruling upheld the Tour's decision for the first playoff event, the court battle between the sides is far from over.

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau headlined a group of 11 LIV players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Tour last week, per ESPN's Mark Schlabach.

"The Tour's conduct serves no purpose other than to cause harm to players and foreclose the entry of the first meaningful competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades," the lawsuit states.

In addition, the U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation last month into whether the Tour violated any antitrust regulations with its actions toward LIV players.

While McIlroy was pleased with the initial ruling, he understands it's not a final ruling.

"It's like there's such a long way to go," he said. "It's like you birdied the first hole, but you've still got 17 holes to go."

The PGA Tour playoffs get underway Thursday with the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Tennessee.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.