‘I Think I Can Be Helpful’ – Rory McIlroy Opens Up On Potential Return To PGA Tour Policy Board

The four-time Major winner resigned from the board six months ago, but with the game still fractured, he could be about to return

Rory McIlroy during the pro-am before the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Rory McIlroy has discussed the potential for a return to the PGA Tour policy board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has opened up on the possibility of him making shock return to the PGA Tour policy board just six months after he resigned.

Earlier in the week, The Guardian reported that the four-time Major winner had been asked by Webb Simpson to return, who has tendered his resignation.

McIlroy spoke to the press ahead of this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he will play alongside Shane Lowry, and admitted he couldn't confirm his return, saying: “Not as of yet, no.”

Nevertheless, McIlroy will reportedly be subject to a vote on Wednesday over taking on director roles on both the PGA Tour’s policy board and PGA Tour Enterprises, a new commercial venture created through investment from Strategic Sports Group (SSG).

With that possibility, he revealed what he could bring in such an arrangement, and cited the lack of progress on agreeing a deal between the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV Golf.

He said: “I think I can be helpful. I don't think there's been much progress made in the last eight months, and I was hopeful that there would be. I think I could be helpful to the process. But only if people want me involved, I guess.

“When Webb and I talked and he talked about potentially coming off the board, I said, 'look, if it was something that other people wanted, I would gladly take that seat,' and that was the conversation that we had. But yeah, I think that's the whole reason. I feel like I can be helpful.

“I feel like I care a lot, and I have some pretty good experience and good connections within the game and sort of around the wider sort of ecosystem and everything that's going on.”

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry at the pro-am prior to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Rory McIlroy plays in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a team with Shane Lowry

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy’s return would need approval from the 12 members of the PGA Tour policy board, which includes player directors Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Jordan Spieth and Simpson, and that’s something McIlroy is well aware of.

He explained: “At the end of the day, it's not quite up to me to just come back on the board. There's a process that has to be followed. But I'm willing to do it if that's what people want, I guess.”

McIlroy also touched on pressing need for the elite men’s game to reunite, adding: “Absolutely, yeah. I think it's the only way forward for the game of golf.”

On the matter of LIV Golf players potentially returning to the PGA Tour, McIlroy famously said before February’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, “let them come back.” That reportedly wasn't a sentiment shared by the player who replaced McIlroy on the board, Jordan Spieth, and McIlroy admitted any potential input would need a nuanced approach.

He said: “Compromise but also try to articulate your points as well as you can and try to help people see the benefits of what unification could do for the game and what it could do for this tour in particular.

“We obviously realize the game is not unified right now for a reason, and there's still some hard feelings and things that need to be addressed, but I think at this point for the good of the game, we all need to put those feelings aside and all move forward together.”

'I've Played Some Of My Best Golf While Being A PGA Tour Board Member'

Rory McIlroy with the CJ Cup trophy on the PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy says his form wasn't hindered by his previous spell on the policy board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy also insisted that his previous spell on the policy board, which came during a time when he achieved PGA Tour wins at the RBC Canadian Open and CJ Cup in 2022 and the co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open in 2023, didn’t negatively affect his game, but that his resignation was for other reasons.

“I would say that I've played some of my best golf while being a PGA Tour board member so I don't think it really hindered me,” explained McIlroy. “It was maybe just taking away some time from me pursuing things or spending time doing things that I wanted to do at home, and having to hop on calls two, three times a week and just the whole thing started to take a toll, as it has on a lot of the players.

“We're golfers at the end of the day. We don't need to be trying to run a $15 billion business. We need to go out there and play golf and let the business people do the business things."

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.