McIlroy Says Loyal PGA Tour Players Should Be Compensated

Rory McIlroy acknowledges how the PGA Tour/PIF merger may benefit the game - but feels some players are due compensation

Rory McIlroy Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy in round one action at the Canadian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy believes players who stayed loyal to the PGA Tour and turned down vast sums of money to join LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), should be compensated.

His comments came after the PGA Tour/PIF merger was announced earlier this week, which will likely pave the way for LIV golfers to return to the Tour they left behind, although quite how this will work remains unclear.

The likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith, are all reported to have received huge signing on fees when they joined LIV Golf, while others have been rumoured to have turned lucrative offers down.

And whilst McIlroy says he was “never offered anything from LIV”, the Ulsterman suggested that those that were, but sided with the PGA Tour, are entitled to feel aggrieved.

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“There has to be something for those guys,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports, adding that they probably felt that they were now “questioning that decision.”

Asked whether he was referring to some form of financial compensation, he added: “Yeah, I think so. Ultimately I think that’s what we’re talking about, yeah.”

McIlroy has never shied away from offering his opinion on LIV Golf from the moment it came into being – he’s always been opposed to the breakaway circuit.

It meant, whether he particularly liked it or not, taking on the unofficial role of PGA Tour spokesperson, doing a lot of the PR work for PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan.

“It's hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I've put myself out there and this is what happens,” he said earlier this week.

Rory McIlroy Canadian Open

Rory McIlroy has been offering his views on the PGA Tour/LIV Golf merger at the Canadian Open this week

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prior to the Canadian Open, McIlroy spoke in length about the merger, and he’s adamant that there “has to be consequences” for any LIV player who comes back onto the PGA Tour.

The four-time Major winner, who also finds himself in the spotlight as defending champion in Toronto, also acknowledged the benefits the merger may have for the game as a whole.

And he’s also reiterated why he made the decision he did to stay on a Tour where he has won 23 times and amassed over $70 million in prize money.

“My ambition has always been to protect the PGA Tour and to protect the aspirational nature of it,” he added. “I hope for me going forward that that is still the case, because I love what the PGA Tour stands for.”

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.