Rory McIlroy didn’t have to wait long for the question he knew was going to be asked. Speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s RBC Canadian Open in Toronto, McIlroy reiterated his stance on the LIV Golf Invitational series, saying he has no plans to take part in the breakaway league and that chasing money in the end doesn’t always turn out to be the right decision.
The RBC Canadian Open, played for the first time since 2019, when McIlroy won, shares a place on the pro golf table this week with the first Saudi Arabia-funded LIV event led by Greg Norman starting Thursday in London, a Dustin-themed tournament. Johnson and Phil Mickelson.
It was impossible to ignore the events of the past week. Johnson is the highest-rated player in the LIV field, and otherwise he would have competed in the RBC Canadian Open, an event he has played seven times and won once. (RBC ended their relationship with him and Graeme McDowell after we announced they had joined LIV Golf.)
Double things up for the PGA Tour, a report emerged in the last 24 hours that Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau will soon be joining the LIV. (DeChambeau’s agent confirmed the news.)
“I think my position on that was very clear from the start,” McIlroy said. “It’s not something I want to be involved in. I definitely understand the guys who’ve gone. I understand their goals and ambitions in their lives. I’m not, I’m definitely not knocking anyone to go. It’s their life, it’s their decision, they can live the way they want to.”
“But for me I want to play on the PGA Tour against the best players in the world. And I think for me, talking to a few people yesterday and one of the comments was, whatever, any decision you make in your life just for money doesn’t end up being the right way in the end. Money is obviously a deciding factor in a lot of things in this world, but if it’s pure money it’s not, you know, it doesn’t seem to work the way you want it to. And I’ve been through this many times in my life and there are other things that are part of it. Also. But it’s a strange period in professional golf.”
McIlroy, who called the new league “dead in the water” just four months ago, said Wednesday that the golf world will just have to see how it goes. There is still uncertainty about whether LIV defectors can participate in the majors (the USGA has said it will allow them to the US Open, but no other major organization has said conclusively one way or the other) and whether the PGA Tour will ban players and can that. And if so, for how long.
“It’s such a shame that it breaks the game,” McIlroy said. “I think if there’s anything we need to make this happen – the professional game is the window shop of golf. If the public is confused about who’s playing and where and what’s the tournament this week and who it’s, you know, oh, he’s playing there, well, and he didn’t He takes part in these events, and it becomes very confusing.
“I think everything should try to get more coherent, and I think he was on a very good track until this happened.”