'I Will Play The PGA Tour For The Rest Of My Career' - Rory McIlroy Emphatically Shuts Down $850m LIV Golf Report

The four-time Major winner has told the Golf Channel he has no intention of making the leap from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf

Rory McIlroy at The Masters
Rory McIlroy has vowed to stay with the PGA Tour for the rest of his career
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has denied a City AM report that he is close to signing for LIV Golf in a deal worth $850m and a 2% equity stake, and instead vowed to stay on the PGA Tour for good.

The 34-year-old was speaking to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis ahead of this week’s PGA Tour signature event the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town, and he explained that nothing could be further from the truth.

He said: “I honestly don’t know how these things get started. I’ve never been offered a number from LIV and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV. Again I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.” 

McIlroy had been one of the biggest critics of the big-money circuit since its emergence two years ago. 

Even after the announcement that the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV Golf were in talks over a deal that would see them work together, McIlroy insisted: “I still hate LIV,” and as recently as July last year he went further, saying: “If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on Earth I would retire, that’s how I feel about it.”

However, he has adopted a more conciliatory tone over recent months, and even said in January that he has had a change of heart over the prospect of LIV Golf players returning to the PGA Tour in the future, saying: “Let them come back.” 

McIlroy admitted to Lewis that he has developed a more nuanced viewpoint since LIV Golf game on the scene. He said: “Doesn’t mean that I judge people that have went and played over there, 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.”

Rory McIlroy takes a shot at The Masters

Rory McIlroy has been less critical of LIV Golf in recent months

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy also also expressed bewilderment over where the suggestion he was about to make the move came from. He said: “No, no idea. Over the last two years there’s been so many rumors of guys - I think the one thing that I realised as well is, guys need to keep an open mind and I’m sure there’s been players that are still playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever.

“But I have no idea, it’s never even been a conversation for us and it’s just one of those things.”

Not only did McIlroy rule out an imminent move, he also pledged his future to the PGA Tour for good. He said: “It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with it and this is the state that our game’s in. I’m obviously here today and I’m playing this PGA Tour event next week and I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”

McIlroy’s comments came after his manager, Sean O’Flaherty had written an email to the Irish Independent refuting the report, writing simply: “Fake news. Zero truth.”

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.