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Rory McIlroy regrets getting ‘deeply involved’ in PGA Tour-LIV battle

Rory McIlroy regrets getting ‘deeply involved’ in PGA Tour-LIV battle

HAMILTON, Ontario – No PGA Tour event has felt the repercussions of the PGA Tour-LIV controversy quite like the RBC Canadian Open.

Two years ago, LIV Golf played its debut tournament in London the same week with former RBC ambassadors Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell among the defectors. It took a big final-round 62 for Rory McIlroy to repeat as champion, winning his 21st Tour title and taking a dig at LIV CEO Greg Norman when he passed him on the Tour’s career victory list.

“I had extra motivation of what’s going on across the pond,” McIlroy said at the time. “The guy that’s spearheading that tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour and I was tied with him and I wanted to get one ahead of him. And I did. So, that was really cool for me, just a little sense of pride on that one.”

RBC Canadian Open: Thursday tee times | Photos

And then, of course, who can forget last year’s bombshell news of the framework agreement on Tuesday of tournament week between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. During his press conference the next day, McIlroy said he felt like a “sacrificial lamb.” A few months later, McIlroy stepped down from the Tour board.

So far, it has been a quiet news week at the RBC Canadian Open other than the announcement that all charges have been dropped against Scottie Scheffler by the Louisville Metro Police Department.

McIlroy, who had been the public face for the PGA Tour in the skirmish with LIV, is back for the fourth straight time north of the border and at Hamilton Golf Club, where he won the first of his consecutive titles in 2019. In this year’s press conference, he expressed regret over being such an outspoken critic of the Saudi-backed LIV.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with the media following the Pro-Am of the RBC Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club on May 29, 2024 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

“In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t have gotten involved or not hadn’t have gotten involved, hadn’t have gotten as deeply involved in it,” he said. “I hold no grudge, I hold no resentment over the guys that chose to go and play on LIV. Everyone’s got their own decisions to make and everyone is, has the right to make those decisions. My whole thing is I’m just disappointed to what it’s done to, not to the game of golf, the game of golf will be fine, but men’s professional golf and this sort of divide we have at…


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