Rory McIlroy says he was surprised and felt like a “sacrificial lamb” when he got word that the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf had announced a merger.
McIlroy, who has been one of the loudest critics of LIV Golf, spoke about the merger on Wednesday before he is set to defend his title at the RBC Canadian Open.
“I learned about it pretty much at the same time everyone else did,” McIlroy said. “Yeah, it was a surprise but I knew there had been discussion going on. I knew lines of communication were open.
“I think ultimately when I look at the bigger picture, 10 years down the line, this is going to be good for the game of professional golf.”.
The deal also includes the European Tour and effectively ends all litigation involving LIV Golf.
McIlroy, who is third in the world rankings, says there are mixed emotions about the merger and golf’s future, but “It unifies it and secures its financial future.” He also had a message for the LIV golfers that defected from the PGA Tour.
“I still hate LIV. I hate them. I hope it goes away. We just can’t welcome them back in,” he said. “It’s hard not to feel like I was a sacrificial lamb. I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is what’s going to happen.
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“I don’t understand all the intricacies of what’s going on. There is a lot of ambiguity, a lot to still be thrashed out but at least it means the litigation goes away, which has been a massive burden for everyone and we can start to work toward some kind of way of unifying the game at the elite level.”.