World number two golfer Rory McIlroy has expressed openness to playing in a tournament affiliated with LIV Golf if it adopts a format similar to cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL). McIlroy, previously critical of LIV, sees potential in a more team-oriented and distinct format for the controversial golf tour.
Merger talks between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the backers of LIV Golf, are set to continue in 2024 in an effort to resolve the schism in professional golf caused by the emergence of LIV.
“I would love LIV to turn into the IPL of golf,” McIlroy stated, envisioning a scenario where the LIV format resembles the successful and lucrative franchise T20 league in cricket. The IPL, initiated in 2008, is known for its high-profile players and unique team-based structure.
While McIlroy had previously expressed strong opposition to LIV, court documents revealed discussions about potential ownership of LIV team franchises for both McIlroy and Tiger Woods as part of a proposed peace deal.
Acknowledging that LIV is now part of the golfing landscape, McIlroy emphasised the importance of responsible spending by LIV to align with its purported aim of growing the sport. He suggested redirecting funds towards grassroots programmes instead of exorbitant player recruitment fees.
Reflecting on his initial judgement of players joining LIV, McIlroy admitted regret, recognising the diverse circumstances and motivations that influence individual decisions. He highlighted the smart business move made by his Ryder Cup teammate, Jon Rahm, in joining LIV with an understanding of potential future developments.
McIlroy urged reconciliation between LIV and the PGA Tour, emphasising the need to set aside egos and differences for the benefit of golf as a whole. The golfer’s evolving perspective underscores the complexity of the ongoing negotiations and the desire for a unified front in the world of professional golf.