Rory McIlroy rejects LIV Golf rumors

March 08, 2024

Rory McIlroy has softened his stance on LIV Golf in recent months, but that doesn't mean the PGA Tour star has any plans of ever joining the Saudi-backed golf league.

One of LIV's biggest critics since its inception, McIlroy has expressed a want for pro golf to get back to being more united even if that means the PGA Tour finalizing a deal with the rival circuit. And he's said he hopes LIV players like Jon Rahm can still play in the Ryder Cup. Those comments led his former manager, Chubby Chandler, to even speculate McIlroy is paving the way for a PGA Tour defection.

But in an interview with ESPN's Marty Smith on Wednesday at Bay Hill, McIlroy once again shot down those rumors. And in emphatic fashion.

“It’s not for me. I’m too much of a traditionalist,” McIlroy told Smith. “I love winning golf tournaments and looking at the trophy and seeing that Sam Snead won this trophy or Ben Hogan or Gene Sarazen or Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player, Tiger Woods or Nick Faldo, whoever it is, the people that came before me. That to me is a big deal in our game. If we were to all put our heads together and be like, ‘Okay, what can we do to all come back together and move forward and be a little more cohesive?’ Then I would sort of be for that.”

So there you have it. Here's the clip of the interview:

McIlroy his playing in this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the PGA Tour's signature events. The 2018 tournament winner continued his slow start to 2024 in the U.S.—he won on the DP World Tour in Dubai in January—with an opening 73.