McIlroy ‘happy to do his bit’ and make shock return to PGA Tour board

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McIlroy ‘happy to do his bit’ and make shock return to PGA Tour board

Rory McIlroy will return to the PGA Tour policy board this week, subject to a vote approving his reappointment, just five months after stepping down from it.

Negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) over the shock Framework Agreement announced last June are understood to be stalling, with talks ongoing to unify the game.

It is expected that McIlroy’s involvement will help appease sponsors and Yasir Al-Rumayyan – chairman of the PIF – to expedite an agreement between the two parties, who are still some way apart in their visions for the sport.

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A look back on how Rory McIlroy’s stance on LIV Golf appears to have changed over the course of the last two years

In a message to Sky Sports News on Monday evening, McIlroy said: “I’d rather the men’s golf professional landscape survived this, so I’m happy to do my bit.”

McIlroy would replace Webb Simpson, who has reportedly offered his resignation and requested the former world No 1 takes his place. The other current PGA Tour player directors on the policy board are Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods.

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Rory McIlroy said at The Players that PGA Tour golfers need to ‘move on’, following discussions on whether Jay Monahan has the support of the players

Why would McIlroy return to the PGA Tour board?

McIlroy joined the Player Advisory Council in 2019 and then served on the PGA Tour’s policy board from 2021 to last November, when he resigned after citing concerns over his time and energy he had to commit to the role.

Rory McIlroy, RBC Heritage, PGA Tour Golf (Associated Press)

Image: Rory McIlroy is set for a shock return to the PGA Tour’s policy board

“I just think I’ve got a lot going on in my life between my golf game, my family and my growing investment portfolio, my involvement in TGL, and I just felt like something had to give,” McIlroy said at the DP World Tour Championship.

“I don’t mind being busy, but I just like being busy doing my own stuff. Something had to give and there’s guys that are on that board that are spending a lot more time and a lot more energy on it than I am. It’s in good hands and I felt like it was the right time to step off.”

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Rory McIlroy explained his decision to resign from the PGA Tour board during the DP World Tour Championship

McIlroy admitted at the start of the year that he was “too judgemental” with his views on players who switched to LIV Golf, having previously spoken out in support of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour since the Saudi-backed circuit launched in 2022.

The Northern Irishman said ahead of February’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that there should be punishment-free pathway for players back to the PGA Tour, should they wish to, with McIlroy accepting in an interview last month that the fractured nature of the sport is “unsustainable”.

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Rory McIlroy admits he has changed his tune by saying returning LIV Golf players shouldn’t be punished

McIlroy’s softened stance on LIV Golf led to speculation that he may be next to switch, a report his manager Sean O’Flaherty described as “fake news”, with the 34-year-old quickly quashing those rumours and insisting his future lied with the PGA Tour.

“I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy said in an interview with Golf Channel at the RBC Heritage. “I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me. It doesn’t mean that I judge people that went and played over there,

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“I think one of the things that I’ve realised over the past two years is people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves and who are we to judge them for that? But personally for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour and it’s never been any different.”

On the course, McIlroy started the year with a runner-up finish at the Dubai Invitational and won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic the following week, then made a slow start to the PGA Tour campaign.

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The best of the action from the final round of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai

McIlroy’s third-place finish at the Valero Texas Open is the only time he has higher than 19th in his last eight starts, with a tied-22nd finish at The Masters earlier this month extending his major drought and the wait for the career Grand Slam.

Watch McIlroy in action at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 8.30pm.

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