Golf: Rory McIlroy calls for PGA and LIV Golf to end war

Rory McIlroy has called on golf’s warring factions to figure something out soon, fearing the ongoing battle between Greg Norman’s LIV Golf and the PGA Tour is “ripping the game apart”.

Speaking at St Andrews, a location that became something of a flashpoint following British Open winner Cameron Smith’s defection to LIV Golf, McIlroy said he was all for Norman and PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan “sitting around a table” to sort through growing tensions.

LIV is hosting another event in Thailand this week as several players, including Phil Mickelson, withdrew from the antitrust lawsuit amid talk of the Saudi-backed league getting closer to a TV deal.

Monahan has said he’s interested in talking to Norman, who revealed this week his calls to the PGA Tour and other tours for talks went unanswered.

McIlroy said the current environment was not good for the game and sooner rather than later the parties had to come together.

“I’ve always said I think there is a time and a place where everyone that’s involved here should sit down and try to work together. It’s very hard for that to happen right now when there’s two lawsuits going on,” he said.

“And I think, as well, there‘s a natural timeline here to let temperatures just sort of settle down a little bit and people can maybe go into those mediations with cooler heads and not be so emotional about it all.

“But look, I don‘t want a fractured game. I never have. The game of golf is ripping itself apart right now and that’s no good for anyone. It’s no good for the guys on, you know, this side or the sort of traditional system and it’s no good for the guys on the other side, either. It’s no good for anyone.

“There is a time and a place for it. I just think right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time. But saying that, I don’t think we can let it go too much longer.

“So I’m all for everyone sitting around the table and trying to figure something out for sure.”

McIlroy also said LIV Golf’s push for world ranking points for players, including world No.3 Smith, was “hard to justify” in the current circumstances, with tournaments played as 54-hole, no-cut events.

“I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly. I think (former world No.1) Dustin Johnson is somewhere around 100th in the world. It’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game,” he said.

“But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there and everyone knows what they are. If they want to pivot to meet the criteria, they can, and then all of a sudden … I certainly have no problem with them getting world ranking points at all.

“But you just have to meet the criteria, and if you don’t meet the criteria, it’s going to be hard to justify why you should have them.”

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