He has been golf’s most vociferous critic on the LIV tour, but there are tentative signs that Rory McIlroy may be softening his perspective.
While there is no suggestion that the Northern Irishman is about to leave the PGA Tour for Saudi millions, McIlroy has said he wants the parties to have talks and work together.
And while the 33-year-old believes the atmosphere is too delicate for such discussions to take place immediately, he hinted that they need to happen sooner rather than later.
“I’ve always said there’s a time and a place where everyone involved needs to sit down and work together,” McIlroy said. “It is very difficult to do that at the moment with the ongoing court cases.
“There is a natural timeline to let things settle down a bit. People can go to those meetings with a cooler head.
‘I don’t want a fractured game. Golf is falling apart and that’s not good for anyone. It’s not good for the guys in the traditional system and it’s not good for the guys on the other side.
‘Right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time, but we probably can’t leave it much longer. I am willing to sit around the table and fix things.
Rory McIlroy has called for talks between the PGA Tour and LIV about the future of golf
McIlory has been one of LIV’s most passionate critics of golf in a difficult year for the sport.
But the 33-year-old has now said talks must take place sooner rather than later.
McIlroy also said LIV players should earn ranking points for the events they play in, as well as be eligible to compete in majors.
“If Dustin Johnson is somehow ranked 100th in the world, it’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game,” McIlroy said. ‘But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules.
‘There are criteria there, everyone knows what they are and if they want to pivot to meet the criteria, they can. I have no problem with them getting ranking points, but you have to meet the criteria. If not, it’s harder to justify why you should have them.
A key argument today about ranking points is that LIV tournaments are three rounds, while PGA Tour and DP World Tour events are four.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said last month that he had no intention of holding talks with LIV, referring to the court disputes that McIlroy also alluded to.
“As far as any of the scenarios go for LIV players, I remind you that we are in a lawsuit,” Monahan said. They have suited us well. I think that talking about hypotheses at this point does not make much sense.
Earlier this week, news broke that Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter, two of the biggest names to switch to LIV, had withdrawn from the lawsuit and had their names removed as plaintiffs.
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But McIlroy’s words still mark a change of tone. In late August, McIlroy said that he ‘hates’ LIV and the fact that LIV players were able to compete in the PGA Championship at Wentworth, which was held in September.
‘If you believe in something, I think you have to speak up, and I strongly believe in this. I really do,’ McIlroy said.
I hate what you’re doing to golf. I hate it. I really do. Like it’s going to be hard for me to go to Wentworth in a couple of weeks and see 18 of them there. That just doesn’t sit well with me.
“So yeah, I feel strongly about it. I think what I’m saying are the right things, and I think when you think what you’re saying are the right things, you’re happy to take a chance.” ‘
In addition, McIlroy’s friend Tiger Woods turned down a $700 million to $800 million offer to join LIV, LIV Commissioner Greg Norman confirmed.
Bryson DeChambeau, one of the high-profile players to switch to LIV, told Tucker Carlson in August that he “personally knows” a solution will be found between LIV and the rest of the golf world.
“I think it will work itself out,” he said. “I personally know it will be resolved, either legally or if they come to the table and work out the terms.
“I definitely think it will go away only in the future, very soon.”