Rory McIlroy PRAISES Yasir Al-Rumayyan as a 'very impressive man'

Rory McIlroy PRAISES new Saudi investor Yasir Al-Rumayyan as a ‘very impressive man’ following the LIV-PGA merger, despite his constant criticism of the rival breakaway series

  • McIlroy described himself as a ‘sacrificial lamb’ just 24 hours after the merger  
  • PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger: All the big questions – answered and unanswered 
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Rory McIlroy’s latest comments, in which he called Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the director of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), a ‘very impressive man’ may surprise some. 

The Northern Irishman has arguably been the most aggressive denouncer of LIV Golf – owned by the Saudi PIF – which will shockingly merge with the PGA Tour, of which McIlroy is the face. 

While he reiterated his ‘hate’ for LIV, McIlroy was rather positive about his interactions with Al-Rumayyan – who will become chairman of the board of the yet-to-be-named company in charge of golf’s merged body – while speaking Friday at the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto. 

‘He’s a very impressive man,’ McIlroy told reporters. ‘Harvard Business School, runs 700 or 800 billions worth of dollars, and invested in a ton of different companies. He’s a very smart, impressive man.’ 

McIlroy admitted he has had several interactions with Al-Rumayyan throughout the years thanks to the pair sharing mutual acquaintances and interests. 

The Northern Irishman has been an outspoken critic of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit

Donald Trump, Yasir Al-Rumayyan (center), and Jared Kushner at a 2022 LIV event 

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced they would merge with LIV and end golf’s civil war

‘I know Yasir,’ McIlroy said. ‘So I played a pro-am with Yasir in Dubai a few years ago. And then I’ve seen him, I was with him at a Formula 1 race randomly a couple years ago in Austin. 

‘I saw him in Dubai at the end of last year… He sort of, he runs in the same circles as a lot of people that I know.’ 

A day after the Tour and LIV announced a merger, McIlroy admitted he had become ‘resigned’ to the presence of the PIF in sports and would rather have them as ‘partners than enemies.’

In a stunning move that was unknown to PGAT stars and LIV commissioner Greg Norman until Tuesday morning, the PGA and European Tours signed an agreement with the Saudi-backed circuit to combine their businesses into a new, yet-to-be-named company. 

LIV has been slammed for its ties to the PIF, with critics accusing the kingdom of ‘sportswashing’ its human rights record. 

‘I’ve come to terms with it. I see what’s happened in other sports,’ McIlroy said. ‘I see what’s happened in other businesses. And, honestly, I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that this is what’s going to happen.

‘Whether you like it or not, the PIF were going to keep spending the money in golf. At least the PGA Tour now controls how that money is spent. 

‘So, you know, if you’re thinking about one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world, would you rather have them as a partner or an enemy? At the end of the day, money talks and you would rather have them as a partner.’

McIlroy broke his silence on the merger Wednesday – admitting he still has ‘hate’ for LIV Golf

McIlroy, pictured with wife Erica Stoll, has been one of the loudest voices against the LIV Tour

‘I think the one thing that was really misconstrued are the headlines of the Tour merging with LIV,’ McIlroy added. ‘LIV’s got nothing to do with this. The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund are basically partnering to create a new company.’ 

‘I still hate LIV,’ he said. ‘I hate LIV and I hope it goes away. I would fully expect that it does.’ 

As for the Tour defectors, McIlroy believes they should not be able to walk right back on to the courses without adversity. Reportedly, the Northern Irishman turned down a nine figure offer to join Greg Norman and Co. 

‘There still has to be consequences,’ he said. ‘The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this Tour, started litigation against it. We can’t just welcome them back in.’

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