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Rory McIlroy teeing off on the 12th hole on the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on October 2, 2022.
Rory McIlroy said Thursday he would rather retire than compete in a Saudi-backed race. live golf Even if it was “the last place on earth where you can play golf,” he couldn’t take the tour.
McIlroy, a four-time major champion, has been a vocal opponent of the Breakaway Golf Tour since it launched a few years ago, threatening the very foundation of the sport.
The shocking announcement of the LIV-PGA Tour merger in June seemed to end the animosity between the two factions of golf, but McIlroy is still unafraid to hide his feelings for the new Tour.
“If LIV Golf was the last place on earth you could play golf, I would retire. That’s how I feel about it,” McIlroy said after the first round of the Scottish Open on Thursday. told reporters in writing. “I’ll be playing in the majors, but I’ll be pretty comfortable.”
CNN has reached out to LIV Golf to provide its right to reply.
McIlroy’s comments came out days later. clearly Advisors to the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) suggested that McIlroy and Tiger Woods own the LIV golf team and play on the Saudi-backed tour, but a PGA Tour representative told CNN Sports that the proposal was He said he was denied by the PGA Tour.
The facts were revealed in a 276-page report released Tuesday by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. A subcommittee, part of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Commission, is investigating the agreement between the two agencies and the Saudi government’s involvement.
Witnesses testified earlier this week, including PGA Tour chief operating officer Ron Price and company director Jimmy Dunne, who helped broker the deal. faced severe scrutiny From a committee member over the deal.
“Today’s hearing is about more than a game of golf. Can the institution be hijacked,” said Richard Blumenthal, Democratic, Connecticut, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee of Investigation.
But Price and Dunn said the planned merger framework is the best opportunity to allow the PGA Tour to maintain some control over the sport.
“I fully understand Senator Blumenthal’s concerns about letting them take over,” Dunn said in comments to the committee.
“They have infinite horizons and infinite funds. [players] move [from the PGA to LIV]. I wonder what the lawmakers are worried about. But I fear they will eventually own the golf if we do nothing. They can do it. ”
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McIlroy reacted during the final round of the 2022 Masters after chipping in from a bunker on the 18th green for a birdie.
Former AT&T CEO Randall Stevenson had resigned He was removed from his post on the PGA Tour’s policy committee in protest of the proposed merger, voicing “serious concerns”.
A person familiar with the letter confirmed to CNN that Stevenson said the deal was “not an objective or conscientious one that I can evaluate, especially in light of the 2018 U.S. intelligence report on Jamal Khashoggi. It is not something that can be supported by the
A U.S. intelligence report named Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for approving the operation that led to the killing of journalist Khashoggi in 2018, a denial he has denied. there is
McIlroy said he only got a glimpse of the Senate hearings. “I’d be happy to play golf. I’m pretty indifferent to everything at the moment,” McIlroy said.
“There wasn’t much new information for me. It should have been new for other people as well. Like I said, I’ve gotten too close in the last year or so. It was great to be able to put it down.”
At the RBC Canadian Open last month, McIlroy said shortly after news of the merger broke that his opinion of LIV would not change.
“I still hate LIV. I hate LIV. I hope it goes away. think.”
The 34-year-old added: “It’s hard not to sit here and feel like I’m a sacrificial lamb and that this is what happens when I expose myself.
“Once again, stepping away from the situation, I can see how good this is for the game of golf. ”