American golfer Rory Mcllroy says the time has come for the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to hold discussions with the controversial new Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. A number of the world’s top male players have joined the new series, which has led to sanctions including suspension from the PGA Tour. “That needs to happen,” replied McIlroy, when asked whether “peace talks” should take place.
Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson, and Dustin Johnson are among a number of top players who have joined the lucrative series, which brought suspensions and fines from the US-based and European tours. Four-times major winner Mcllroy has been one of the most outspoken critics of the breakaway circuit but said now was the time to find that $255 million LIV series is being bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
“Come together a little bit more” – Rory Mcllroy
Mcllroy highlighted the increased prize money on offer on the Ladies European Tour thanks to sponsorship from the Saudi state-owned energy giant Aramco, which is also a global partner of Formula One. “There’s so much chat about where the money is comAll-time, Saudi and everything else. They sponsor so many other things. They are all over sport,” he said. “I understand people’s reservations with things but at the same time, if these people are serious about investing billions of dollars into golf.”
“I think ultimately that’s a good thing but it has to be done the right way.” On Monday, LIV Series player Ian Poulter was informed he could play at this week’s Scottish Open after an appeal against his ban was upheld. However, four-time major winner Mcllroy believes some form of compromise will eventually have to be found.
“At the end of the day it will sort itself out,” he said. “Everyone has to pivot and change and try to be better and hopefully get to that stage but as you said now it’s messy and all the narrative isn’t good; it’s splitting the game instead of everyone coming together.“