McIlroy Backs PGA Tour Suspensions For LIV Golf Players

The Northern Irishman defended Jay Monahan's decision to punish the likes of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson

Rory McIlroy tees off during the first round of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has backed the PGA Tour's decision to suspend the players who have signed up to the LIV Golf Series, insisting Jay Monahan has "done the right thing" in dishing out sanctions for those who have "broken the rules".

The four-time Major winner is one of a number of top players to pledge his allegiance to the US-based circuit amid golf's ongoing power struggle that he admitted is going to "fracture the game." 

As was speculated, Tour chief Monahan issued a strong statement shortly after the inaugural event on the Saudi-backed series got underway, accusing the defectors as of making "financial-based" decisions.

"I think at this point, Jay's been pretty transparent in terms of he's just going to act within the tournament regulations and the rules that are set for a PGA Tour member," McIlroy said, when asked about his reaction to the news. 

"All he's doing is basically going by the book. I think that the majority of the membership that are here this week and that haven't went and played elsewhere really appreciate that.

"I think he's done the right thing because these guys have broken rules and done things outside of the tournament regulations, and because of that, there are going to be consequences, I guess."

As well as suspensions for PGA Tour members, Monahan also came down hard on those who preemptively resigned their playing privileges, adding: "These players will not be permitted to play in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category."

In response, LIV Golf called the PGA Tour "vindictive" and vowed this would not be the end of the matter, as the gloves finally came off in a feud that has been simmering for some time.

On the Old World circuit, McIlroy is looking to win the RBC Canadian Open for a second time, and began his title bid with a four-under 66, leaving him three off the early pace set by Wyndham Clark. 

Despite remaining steadfast in his loyalty to the status quo, the Northern Irishman did admit he was intrigued to catch up on the round one action from Centurion Club, as the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter got underway at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational London event.

"I think like everyone else, I'm intrigued and I'm a fan of golf. I've got quite a few guys over there that I call friends that are playing. Yeah, of course I'll see it and watch it and see what all the fuss is about."


A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as,, and

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1