McIlroy says the PGA Tour-LIV deal will ultimately be good for golf

Top golfer Rory McIlroy, who has become the unofficial face of opposition to the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf, on Wednesday caved to a merger between the two sides, saying it would “ultimately be good for the game. golf”.

“I still hate LIV,” said McIlroy, ranked third overall on the PGA Men’s Tour, ahead of Wednesday’s tournament in Canada. “Like it or not, the [Public Investment Fund] they will continue to spend the money on golf. At least now the PGA Tour is in control of how the money is spent.”

McIlroy’s comments came a day after the PGA and Saudi Arabia’s PIF announced they would jointly control professional golf’s commercial entities, effectively merging the two sides after two years of strife within the sport.

The surprise union ends litigation between the PGA and LIV Golf, the rival tour that has lured top players such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson with contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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McIlroy and the PGA leadership have long resisted Saudi competition with the Northern Irish he said before that the LIV tour had “torn up” the golf world and that he stayed with the PGA to “do things for all the right reasons”.

On Wednesday, McIlroy pointed to a framework agreement between the PGA and PIF that will see tour leader Jay Monahan become CEO of the yet-to-be-named joint commercial entity. PIF Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan will serve as chairman, and the fund will retain the right of first refusal on future equity investments in the company.

“If you think about one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, would you rather use them as a partner or as an enemy?” McIlroy said at a press conference before the RBC Canadian Open. “At the end of the day, money talks, and you do [the PIF] as a partner.”

The news of the PGA and PIF merger sparked outrage among the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, who said in a statement on Tuesday that “it appears that the PGA and Monahan have only become more highly paid Saudi palliers, spending billions of dollars to clean up terrorism.” Saudi reputation”.

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Golf pro Bryson DeChambeau, who joined LIV Golf last year, was asked by CNN Tuesday how he reconciled allegations that Saudi employees killed The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi ties to the 9/11 attacks.

“What happened is absolutely terrible,” he said. “I think over time it’s been 20 years and now we’re at a place where it’s time to start working together to make things better. . .[Saudi Arabia]they are trying to do good to the world and present themselves in a light they haven’t seen in a while. No one is perfect, but we all try to improve in life.”