Rory McIlroy has again questioned the sporting validity of the insurgent LIV Golf Series, two days after taking a swipe at Greg Norman within the instant aftermath of his Canadian Open victory.
The first occasion of the LIV scheme, backed financially by Saudi Arabia and fronted by Norman, occurred final week in Hertfordshire. The build-up to the US Open, which begins at Brookline on Thursday, has been dominated by chatter about this nice disruption plan. McIlroy stays a agency advocate of the prevailing ecosystem.
“It’s the cloud that’s hanging over golf at the minute, right?” he mentioned. “We are at a major championship and it’s what everyone wants to talk about so it’s on everyone’s mind.
“Those crowds on Sunday in Canada, LIV is never going to have that. It’s never going to have that sense of, I don’t know what the word is… but last week meant something. What they are doing over there doesn’t really mean anything apart from just collecting a ton of money.”
McIlroy subsequently pointed to the “competitive integrity” of seeing off Justin Thomas and Tony Finau in Toronto. McIlroy has been cautious to not castigate his fellow professionals, together with Phil Mickelson, who’ve been banned by the PGA Tour after accepting LIV’s profitable overtures however he clearly stays unimpressed by their selection. “My dad said to me a long time ago, once you make your bed, you lie in it, and they’ve made their bed,” McIlroy mentioned. “That’s their decision, and they have to live with that.”
Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau pledged allegiance to the PGA Tour early this yr earlier than performing a U-turn and signing for LIV. McIlroy had claimed the breakaway appeared “dead in the water” on the level of the unique place. “I took a lot of players’ statements at face value,” he mentioned. “I guess that’s what I got wrong.
“You had people committed to the PGA Tour, and that’s the statements that were put out. People went back on that, so I guess I took them for face value. I took them at their word and I was wrong.”
McIlroy’s expansive strategy was in distinction to that of Brooks Koepka. The two-time US Open winner, whose brother Chase is an element of the LIV contingent, was tetchy when requested whether or not there’s a determine that might be ample to coax him in direction of LIV.
“I haven’t given it that much thought,” Koepka mentioned. “I’m trying to focus on the US Open. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff.
“Y’all are throwing a black cloud on the US Open. I think that sucks. I actually do feel bad for them [the United States Golf Association] for once because it’s a shitty situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”
In a letter despatched to the membership, the DP World Tour chief govt, Keith Pelley, has promised to set out a proper place subsequent Thursday regarding LIV participation. Pelley mentioned: “During discussions last week, and through additional private correspondence, some members asked me why we simply do not follow what the PGA Tour have done and immediately suspend these players.
“While I understand the frustration, I remind you all that although we work closely with the PGA Tour, we are different organisations and our rules and regulations are therefore different too.
“From many of your messages and my conversations, I know that many of you share the same viewpoint that Jay Monahan expressed in his note to PGA Tour members, namely that the players who have chosen this route have disrespected the vast majority of the members of this Tour.
“As for what we are going to do, because of the complexity of our situation we are still evaluating an overall course of action.”