Rory McIlroy changes his mind and says he would play LIV Golf.
Rory McIlroy changes his mind and says he would play LIV Golf.

Rory McIlroy’s big U-turn on LIV has picked up speed after the world No. 2 said he might join the Saudi-funded circuit “if it was turned into the IPL of golf.”

McIlroy was the breakaway’s loudest enemy for a long time. He screamed about the “guaranteed money” and what he saw as the lack of competition in the series. But last month, he changed his mind completely. He now wants the Ryder Cup rules to be changed so that Jon Rahm can play in next year’s match in New York, since the Spaniard left in a £450 million deal.

For his part, he has always been adamant that he would not sign any deal. In July, he said, “If LIV was the last place to play on earth I’d retire.”

Only a short time before, shocking news came out that the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour had signed a “framework agreement” with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund in order to merge.

The talks are still going on, and McIlroy’s positive comments on the “Stick to Football” podcast about the idea of a tramp competition could very well help close the deal.

“What I would love for LIV is for it to turn into like the IPL [Indian Premier League] of golf,” McIlroy told Gary Neville when Neville asked him if he would play on LIV in its new form.
“So the IPL and cricket have been good.” In terms of the calendar, they take two months. We would tell them, “Okay, you have four weeks in May and four weeks in November. Go do this team stuff.” And the style is a little different. I would say, “Yeah, that sounds like fun” if they did that. Because you’re not working in the environment at all.

“You know, the Saudis pretty much showed some of the problems with how professional golf is set up.” They were able to totally change our game and show some of our flaws with $2 billion. Now we should be able to sit down and talk about what to do next.

People have seen McIlroy as the PGA Tour’s spokesperson, but in this honest talk, he says he was the main person who brought the two sides together in the first place. The Tour’s commissioner, Jay Monahan, had said before that he would never talk to LIV.

Yasser Al-Rumayyan is the head of LIV and the governor of the PIF. I met him in Dubai at the end of last year and asked him, “What do you want?” The golfer asked, “What do you want to do in golf?”

“We had a great talk. He loves the game and thinks that the competition between teams can really take off. He also thinks that these teams can become valuable franchises. I got some of that, though. When I got back to the US at the beginning of 2023, I was on the PGA Tour’s board and told them, “Someone needs to talk to this guy.” The board agreed.

“So a plan was made to get to know them [LIV] and see if we can work something out so that we can all move forward together.”

“I wouldn’t say I’ve lost the battle with LIV.”

In November, McIlroy quit the policy board because he said it required too much of his time. A month later, Rahm’s decision to leave the team seemed to start fighting again, but not with McIlroy.

“At this point, I think I was maybe a little too harsh on the guys who went to LIV golf at the beginning. I think that was a mistake on my part because I now know that not everyone is Tiger Woods or me,” he said.

“I believe I’ve learned over the last two years that we all become professionals in our games in order to make a living at them.The past two years, I’ve looked at the world through the lens of altruism, seeing it the way I wanted to see it. You can say everything you want, but people will still not change their minds. What you say will never make them decide.

“I wouldn’t say I lost the fight with LIV, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is now part of our sport.”

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