LIV Golf accused of ‘starting’ Rory McIlroy rumour as Masters distraction.

April 17, 2024

LIV Golf have been accused of formulating the rumour that Rory McIlroy was set to make a shock move to the breakaway circuit.On Sunday, City A.M. reported that McIlroy was ‘close’ to signing an eye-watering £682 million ($850m) deal with LIV, in what would prove the biggest move in professional golf’s ongoing battle yet. On Tuesday, however, the Northern Irishman rubbished the claims, pledging his loyalties to the PGA Tour.“I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me,” McIlroy told Golf Channel. “That doesn’t mean I judge people who have gone and played [LIV Golf ].READ MORE: Rory McIlroy ends LIV Golf speculation once and for all with painful message to Greg NormanREAD MORE: Rory McIlroy prioritises golf ‘traditions’ despite LIV links and Jon Rahm’s frustration shows why“One of the things 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? For me, my future is here on the PGA Tour… I’m sure there’s players who are still playing on the PGA Tour who still talk to the guys from LIV and had offers.“It’s never even been a conversation for us. It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with it; this is the state that our game’s in. I’ll play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”McIlroy’s decision to squash the rumours came as no surprise, after the four-time major winner had announced himself as one of the Saudi league’s biggest critics. Former PGA Tour star and commentator Brandel Chamblee has also been one of the LIV’s key opposers since its inception in June 2022, and the 61-year-old reignited his feud with Greg Norman and co on Tuesday, on the back of the trodden-down McIlroy rumours.Taking to X, Chamblee wrote: “I have no doubt that this rumor was started by Saudis/LIV… to benefit Saudis/LIV after such a poor showing, as a group, at The Masters.”McIlroy himself was quizzed on where he believes the LIV rumour started, admitting that he was none the wiser. He said: “I have no idea.“Over the past two years there’s been so many rumours of guys, and the one thing I’ve realised as well is guys need to keep an open mind. I’m sure there are players playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever, but yeah, I’ve no idea.”McIlroy had loosely been linked with making the Saudi switch earlier this year, after his former agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler claimed there was a ’10 percent chance’ the Northern Irishman could complete ultimate U-turn. But McIlroy once again reiterated his stance in March, telling ESPN: “It’s not for me, I’m too much of a traditionalist.“I love winning golf tournaments and looking at the trophy and seeing that Sam Snead won this trophy or Ben Hogan or Gene Sarazen or Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player or Tiger Woods or Nick Faldo, whoever it is, the people that came before me. Like that to me is a big deal in our game.