Rory McIlroy questions ‘short-term thinking’ of younger players leaving PGA Tour for LIV Golf series | Golf News

McIlroy is looking to follow Canadian Open victory with a fifth major title this week at the US Open; watch live from The Country Club throughout the week on Sky Sports Golf – the opening round is live on Thursday from 1pm

Last Updated: 14/06/22 4:01pm

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rory McIlroy says he empathises with the families of 9/11 victims over the LIV Golf Series, after they wrote a letter to some of the players involved voicing their anger over the Saudi backed event

Rory McIlroy says he empathises with the families of 9/11 victims over the LIV Golf Series, after they wrote a letter to some of the players involved voicing their anger over the Saudi backed event

Rory McIlroy has questioned the “short-term thinking” of the younger contingent joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series and believes players switching from the PGA Tour will continue to fracture the sport.

The Greg Norman-fronted events launched at the Centurion Club last week, with the PGA Tour suspending all members involved and confirming they will hand out the same penalty to any golfer wanting to play in future LIV Golf tournaments.

Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter were among the 48-man field in Hertfordshire, where Charl Schwartzel earned $4.75m for winning both the individual and team competitions, with the quartet among 17 players suspended by the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez have since committed to the second LIV Golf event in Portland later this month, with other players expected to join the PGA Tour exodus in the coming weeks, with McIlroy concerned about the impact the circuit is having on the global game.

“If it [LIV Golf series] keeps going the way it’s going, it’s going to fracture the game more than it already is,” McIlroy told Sky Sports News. “The professional world in golf has already been fractured.

US Open Preview Show

June 15, 2022, 9:00pm

Live on

“There’s so many different tours and so many different things to follow. I’ve always been an advocate of making it more cohesive and trying to get people working together more, but this is ripping that apart.

“If the Saudis are hellbent on spending money in golf, let’s try to get it spent in a way that benefits the wider ecosystem. That’s where I would like to see it going, but whether that happens or not remains to be seen.”

Ahead of this week's US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ahead of this week’s US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament

Ahead of this week’s US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament

Is it a risk leaving the PGA Tour?

Many of the players competing last week resigned from their PGA Tour membership before making their LIV Golf Series debuts, a move expected by others earmarked to play on the big-money circuit, with McIlroy questioning the eagerness of players wanting to make the switch.

“I don’t think anyone can see where this thing will be in five years’ time or 10 years’ time,” McIlroy said in his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday. “If I had a crystal ball, I could obviously give you a better answer.

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels 'it is the right thing to do'

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’

“I just think for a lot of the guys that are going to play that are younger, sort of similar age to me or a little younger than me, it seems like quite short-term thinking, and they’re not really looking at the big picture. Again, I’ve just tried to sort of see this with a wider lens from the start.”

McIlroy added: “A lot of these guys are in their late 40s. In Phil’s [Mickelson] case, early 50s. Yeah, I think they [veteran players leaving the PGA Tour] would say to you themselves that their best days are behind them.

Phil Mickelson has faced more difficult questions about his decision to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series at a news conference ahead of the US Open

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Phil Mickelson has faced more difficult questions about his decision to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series at a news conference ahead of the US Open

Phil Mickelson has faced more difficult questions about his decision to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series at a news conference ahead of the US Open

“That’s why I don’t understand for the guys that are a similar age to me going because I would like to believe that my best days are still ahead of me, and I think theirs are too. So that’s where it feels like you’re taking the easy way out.”

McIlroy: ‘Hard to separate sport and politics’

A group representing victims’ families and survivors of the September 11 attacks have taken aim at and accused the high-profile American players in the LIV Golf Series of sportswashing and betraying their country.

In a letter sent to the agents of Mickelson, Johnson, DeChambeau, Reed and Kevin Na, 911familiesunited.org expressed their outrage towards the players for competing in the Saudi-backed events.

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels 'it is the right thing to do'

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’

Mickelson said in his press conference on Monday that he has “the deepest of sympathy and empathy” for families of the 9/11 victims and survivors from that terrorist attack, and McIlroy says he understands the anger from the families involved.

“I think everything that’s happening with this tour [LIV Golf], it legitimatizes their [Saudi Arabias] place in the world,” McIlroy added. “I’m sure not every Saudi Arabian is a bad person, we’re talking about this in such a generalized way.

Live US Open Golf

June 16, 2022, 1:00pm

Live on

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East, and the vast majority of people that I’ve met there are very, very nice people, but there’s bad people everywhere. The bad people that came from that part of the world did some absolutely horrendous things.

“Of course, I understand where these families are coming from, and in this day and age everything is just so intertwined, and it’s hard to separate sport from politics from dirty money from clean money. It’s a very convoluted world right now.”

Who will win the US Open? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf!