'Don't Try And Come Back' - Rory McIlroy On LIV Golf Defectors

The Northern Irishman says joining LIV and taking the money is "fine" but warned players not to "try and come back and play over here again"

Rory McIlroy hits a golf shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy says that he's fine with players taking the money to go to LIV but warned players to not "try and come back and play over here."

His statement seems a direct response to the 16 DP World Tour players to have threatened the Tour with legal action, including Ian Poulter who had his Scottish Open ban "temporarily stayed" after a successful hearing.

Poulter said he spoke to McIlroy at Adare Manor, venue for this week's JP McManus Pro-Am. The Ryder Cup legend insisted joining LIV was a business decision and "not a personal decision that has to get in the way of friendships"

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

McIlroy's relationship with Sergio Garcia has deteriorated, Golf Monthly understands, but he and Poulter, Ryder Cup partners, may well still be close friends. McIlroy, though, did speak of the resentment from DP World Tour players towards the LIV defectors who are trying to 'have their cake and eat it.'

"I think at this stage, if you go over and play on a different tour, then go over and play on a different tour," McIlroy said.

"You're sort of basically leaving all your peers behind to go make more money, which is fine. But just go over there. Don't try and come back and play over here again. This whole having your cake and eating it type thing is what the resentment [stems from] within the membership."

McIlroy's comments echo those of Billy Horschel, who didn't hold back in his Scottish Open press conference on his feelings towards the LIV Golf defectors. "Those guys made their bed," the American said. "They say that's what they want to do. So just leave us alone. Honestly."

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x