Rory McIlroy admitted he was “surprised” and had “mixed emotions” after learning of the shock declaration of peace in golf’s civil war.
McIlroy and Tiger Woods had established themselves as the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV Golf, but were both kept in the dark about the stunning deal announced on Tuesday.
Fellow players reacted with surprise and a sense of betrayal at the news that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were merging their commercial operations with the golf-related businesses of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls LIV.
“It was a surprise, I knew there had been discussions going on in the background but I didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did,” McIlroy said in a press conference ahead of the RBC Canadian Open.
The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF announce landmark agreement to unify men’s professional golf.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 6, 2023
The Co Down man added: “I gather the (PGA) Tour felt they were in a real position of strength coming off the DP World Tour winning their legal case in London; it weakened the other side’s position.
“I think ultimately, when I try to remove myself from the situation and try to look at the bigger picture and I look 10 years down the line, I think ultimately it’s going to be good for the game of professional golf.
“It unifies it and secures its financial future. There’s mixed emotions in there as well.
“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.”