McIlroy still not interested in LIV: ‘Too much of a traditionalist’

motorsport07 March 2024 22:51| © Reuters
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Rory McIlroy © Gallo Images

Rory McIlroy has appeared to scale back his hardline stance against LIV Golf in recent months, but that doesn't mean the star from Northern Ireland is considering switching allegiances.

In separate interviews in January, McIlroy admitted he had been "too judgmental" of the Saudi-backed LIV circuit and the players who signed there, and he said there should be no punishment for LIV players who would wish to return to the PGA Tour.

McIlroy was asked in an on-camera interview with ESPN, published Thursday, whether he's considered joining LIV as the PGA Tour's negotiations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund continue.

In short, the money doesn't sway him.

"It's not for me," McIlroy said. "I'm too much of a traditionalist, I'm steeped in the ... I love winning golf tournaments and looking at the trophy and seeing that Sam Snead won this trophy or Ben Hogan or Gene Sarazen or Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player, Tiger Woods, Nick (Faldo), whoever it is. The people that came before me.

"That, to me, is a big deal in our game."

McIlroy nonetheless struck a conciliatory tone about the reunification of men's golf.

"If we were to all put our heads together and be like, ‘OK, what can we do to all come back together and move forward and be a little more cohesive?' Then I would sort of be for that," McIlroy said in the video.

McIlroy served on the PGA Tour's policy board as a player director until he stepped down last November, citing personal and professional commitments.

It is unclear when or whether the tour and the PIF will finalize their "framework agreement" from last June after a self-imposed December 31 deadline came and went. In the meantime, LIV Golf has attracted the likes of Spaniard Jon Rahm, and CEO Greg Norman has said the circuit is already working on setting its 2025 schedule.