Rory McIlroy Says PGA, LIV Golf Feud Is 'Out of Control,' Likely 'Irreparable'

Adam WellsOctober 26, 2022

RIDGELAND, SOUTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 23: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates after winning during the final round of the CJ Cup at Congaree Golf Club on October 23, 2022 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Anyone holding out hope for some sort of truce between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will likely be disappointed, according to Rory McIlroy.

In an interview with Ewan Murray of The Guardian, McIlroy said the feud between the two golf circuits is "out of control" and the damage will likely be "irreparable" if both sides keep going the way they have been.

"We are going to have a fractured sport for a long time," he added. "That is no good for anyone."

The launch of LIV Golf immediately caused a fracture among several players who jumped ship from the PGA Tour to the controversial new circuit.

LIV is funded by the Saudi Arabia government in what's seen as an attempt to improve its reputation around the world through "sportswashing."

Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Bryson DeChambeau are among the notable players who signed on with LIV Golf.

The PGA Tour announced in June any players who took part in the first LIV event would be suspended, and anyone who participated in future events would face the same discipline.

In a September interview with ESPN's Mark Schlabach, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said he doesn't see a way in which the PGA Tour and LIV can coexist.

"The answer to that is they've gone down their path and I think we have been pretty consistent that we're going down ours, and I don't see that happening. Haven't, and I don't," he said.

Given the amount of money LIV Golf has already spent to sign players, with no indication the spending will slow down, the PGA Tour has taken steps to provide more financial incentives for its players.

The Tour announced in August the addition of four more "elevated" tournaments that have a purse of at least $20 million each. There will be a total of 12 elevated tournaments starting in 2023.

Monahan also said the PGA received a commitment from top players to participate in at least 20 tournaments next season.

LIV Golf is still seeking to be recognized by the Official World Golf Rankings so its members can earn points and be ranked alongside players from other major circuits.

Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, visited Washington, D.C., last month to lobby members of Congress after the circuit filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour amid claims it used monopoly power to squash any competition and unfairly suspend LIV players from tour-sanctioned events.

Per Emily Brooks of The Hill, Norman received pushback from multiple Republican House members among many topics, including LIV's ties to Saudi Arabia and the league not registering as a foreign agent.

McIlroy and Tiger Woods are the two biggest stars on the PGA Tour. They have taken an active role in trying to figure out ways for the circuit to maintain its status as the premier golf organization in the world amid the rise of LIV.