McIlroy: LIV Golf has 'BENEFITED everyone that plays pro golf'

Rory McIlroy makes bombshell admission that LIV Golf has ‘BENEFITED everyone that plays pro golf’ – despite being biggest critic of the Saudi-backed breakaway tour

  • The Northern Irishman says LIV created an ‘incentive to innovate’ the PGA Tour
  • McIlroy will now focus his attention toward this week’s Players Championship 
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The worlds No. 3 golfer Rory McIlroy, one of the most vocal and noted detractors of LIV Golf, admitted that the Saudi-backed tour has benefitted professional golf.

In a press conference before this weekend’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in north Florida, the Northern Irish golfer addressed the circuit in a different tone than normal.

After making repeated statements in the past against the tour and individual golfers who have joined it, and even being embroiled in a tee-related controversy with them, McIlroy admitted that some good has come from LIV’s emergence.

‘I’m not going to sit here and lie; I think the emergence of LIV or the emergence of a competitor to the PGA Tour has benefited everyone that plays elite professional golf,’ said McIlroy.

‘I think when you’ve been the biggest golf league in the biggest market in the world for the last 60 years, there’s not a lot of incentive to innovate.

Rory McIlroy – a prominent critic of LIV Golf – says the breakaway tour ‘benefited’ pro golfers

McIlroy made the comments at a press conference ahead of this week’s Players Championship

Meanwhile, LIV completed its first tournament at the end of February at Mayakoba in Mexico

‘This has caused a ton of innovation at the PGA Tour and what was quite, I would say, an antiquated system is being revamped to try to mirror where we’re at in the world in the 21st century with the media landscape.

‘So, yeah, you know, LIV coming along, it’s definitely had a massive impact on the game, but I think everyone who’s a professional golfer is going to benefit from it going forward.’

Since the emergence of LIV, the PGA Tour has had multiple changes to its pay structure and economic model. It also forced the tour to innovate – looking into a global series that was announced at the Travelers Championship, but did not come to fruition.

The tour expanded purses for 13 tournaments this season with an average size of $20m for each. The PGA Tour also guaranteed a minimum salary of $500,000 to rookies, which can be received up front, and lower-ranked players will get a $5,000 stipend for each missed cut.

Additionally, the top players have committed to playing at least 20 tournaments per year – which can include the four majors.

This weekend, McIlroy hopes to get back on top at the Players for the first time since 2019 after a close runner-up finish at Bay Hill’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Meanwhile, LIV doesn’t play its next event until next week’s LIV Golf Tuscon event in Arizona.

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