Rory McIlroy Defends PGA Tour, Tells LIV Golf Players ‘Don’t Try and Come Back’ After Jumping Ship

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Leading into the PGA Tour’s final major championship of 2022, the talk amongst the players at their media sessions was obviously LIV Golf. The organization’s most valuable defender at the moment – Rory McIlroy – had a spicy take, as usual.

“I think at this stage, if you go over and play in a different tour then go play in a different tour,” McIlroy said in an interview with BBC. “I think this whole having your cake and eating it-type thing is where the resentment’s from within the membership.”

He continued: “You’re sort of basically leaving all your peers behind to go make more money, which is fine. But just go over there. Don’t try and come back and play over here again.”

McIlroy is referring to players joining LIV Golf, but then being upset that commissioner Jay Monahan has suspended them from playing in any PGA Tour events. Those players originally included the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia. Most recently, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed added their names to the LIV Golf lineup.

Rory McIlroy Not Always On the Attack

But despite that strong quote, the 33-year-old Northern Irishman was not ruthless to any degree with his words. He actually stated that he understood what attracted some of the players to LIV Golf. And if he were in a different stage of his career he might actually consider it.

“I understand why some guys went, especially the guys who are sort of in the latter stages of their careers,” McIlroy explained. “If I was in their position, I mean, I would seriously have to think about doing the same thing.”

McIlroy does consistently have the most quotable nuggets from this whole situation from the PGA Tour side. But he is also continuing to form his opinion once more facts come in – which is commendable. If the LIV Golf players leave and stay gone, McIlroy does not seem to have a problem with it. 

“Is there a difference of opinion? Yes. But I can argue with you about a certain thing and still like you at the end of it,” he said. “For me, I don’t resent anyone. A lot of these guys are my friends and they’re still going to be my friends regardless of the decisions they make.”

He probably just has a problem with Greg Norman running his mouth.