Rory McIlroy hasn’t been shy about sharing his opinions on LIV Golf amid its fight with the PGA Tour.
The 33-year-old was front and center with his support of the Tour last year, and even said LIV Golf commissioner and CEO Greg Norman “needs to go.”
Earlier this week the upstart circuit backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund confirmed a Sports Illustrated report that Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Golf Saudi Federation and a pivotal player in getting LIV off the ground, would leave his position as LIV Golf’s managing director but remain as one of seven LIV Golf board members. The move points to Norman having an elevated role with LIV, which has lost both its chief operating officer and director of franchises over the last few weeks.
“I mean, if the Chief Executive doesn’t have an executive team, I don’t know how strong that is,” said McIlroy of LIV’s current situation ahead of this week’s DP World Tour event, the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. “I mean, he can’t do it himself.”
As he prepares for his first start of 2023, McIlroy said the 2022 season left him both “mentally and physically drained.” The Northern Irishman played 22 official events worldwide last year and missed just two cuts. Wins at the CJ Cup, RBC Canadian and Tour Championship led McIlroy to claim the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup title, as well as the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai thanks to five top-five finishes in six starts. That explains the physical. As far as the mental drainage, “all of it” came from his avid support of the PGA Tour in its battle against LIV Golf.
“I think I said a lot last year, and I wanted my actions to match my words,” said McIlroy. “So there’s no point in just being a mouthpiece when you can’t back that up by playing good golf and showing people the rewards people can have out here if they are playing well.”
“On reflection last year, I felt like I needed to take on quite a lot,” said McIlroy of his role with the Tour. “We still have quite a bit of work to do, but hopefully this year it won’t be quite as taxing.”
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