Lun. May 27th, 2024

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Four-time major championship winner Rory McIlroy on Tuesday said he plans to finish his career on the PGA Tour, denying a published report by a London newspaper that he had been offered $850 million and an equity stake in the LIV Golf League.

McIlroy said neither he nor his agents have ever discussed a potential deal to lure him to the LIV Golf League, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

«I honestly don’t know how these things get started,» McIlroy told Golf Channel while on the practice range at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the site of this week’s RBC Heritage. «I’ve never been offered a number from LIV, and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV. Again, I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.

«It doesn’t mean that I judge people who have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I have realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves, and who are we to judge them for that? But personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour, and it’s never been any different.»

McIlroy, a 24-time winner on the tour, is also scheduled to play with Ireland’s Shane Lowry in next week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a team event.

«It’s never even been a conversation for us,» McIlroy said. «It’s unfortunate we have to deal with it, and this is the state our game is in. I’m obviously here and going to the PGA Tour event next week, and I’ll play the PGA Tour the rest of my career.»

Sean O’Flaherty, McIlroy’s agent, told the Irish Independent in an email that there was «zero truth» to a report by City A.M., a London financial paper, that the second-ranked golfer in the world was mulling over an $850 million offer from the LIV Golf League that would include an equity stake of about 2%.

O’Flaherty called the report «fake news.»

«I think over the last two years, there’s been so many rumors of guys,» McIlroy said. «I think the one thing I’ve realized as well is guys need to keep an open mind, and I’m sure there’s been players that are still playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever.»

Although the PGA Tour and the PIF signed a framework agreement on June 6 to form an alliance, the sides haven’t been able to finalize an agreement. The framework agreement, which expired Dec. 31, was extended as negotiations continue.

LIV Golf lured then-world No. 3 Jon Rahm into its ranks in December with a deal reportedly worth more than $350 million.

On March 18, PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan met with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and players directors from the tour’s policy board, including Tiger Woods, in the Bahamas.

McIlroy, who tied for 22nd at last week’s Masters, has been one of the more vocal critics of LIV Golf and its team concept.

«I still hate LIV,» he told reporters at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open in Toronto last June. «Like, I hate LIV. Like, I hope it goes away.»

After the PGA Tour’s pending alliance with the PIF was announced, McIlroy said he felt like a «sacrificial lamb.»

Over the past several months, McIlroy has softened his position on allowing players who left for LIV Golf to come back to the PGA Tour and whether they should be able to compete in the Ryder Cup.

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