One Thing Really Stood Out To Me In Rory McIlroy's Latest Press Conference

It's clear the World No.2 remains the PGA Tour's spokesperson, even after he stood down from the board in November

Rory McIlroy smiles while having a conversation
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The recently launched season 2 of Full Swing showed Rory McIlroy in between the roles of a politician and a pro golfer and, despite stepping down from the board last year and pledging that it's time to focus on the golf, it’s clear he remains the PGA Tour’s spokesperson.

In his gathering with media on-site at TPC Sawgrass this morning, the Northern Irishman was asked around 17 questions and eight of them were related to the PGA Tour’s business, the sport’s future and Jay Monahan’s role.

As much as he probably doesn’t want to be the spokesperson for the tour, media know that McIlroy is open with his answers and people want to hear his take on golf’s ongoing fracture that he has constantly provided insightful and honest takes on over the past two years.

Already this year, he’s spoken about LIV Golfers returning to the PGA Tour without punishment, his desire for unity in the game again, the need for the tour to be cutthroat and the future of the elite men’s game to go truly global, and whether the PGA Tour board are listening or not, the golf world certainly is.

McIllroy says that stepping away from the board has given him some time back, but that hasn't stopped the questions on the state of the game, and on Wednesday morning he again seemed more than happy to give his views.

In the absence of Tiger Woods, the new PGA Tour Enterprises Vice Chairman who has teed it up just once in 2024, McIlroy is the one taking the important questions and opining on the grand stage.

In this latest press conference, McIlroy defended Jay Monahan and again spoke of how the game needs to unify for the good of the fans.

"You look at what Jay has done since he took over. The media rights deal, navigating us through Covid, the strategic alliance with the DP World Tour," he said on Jay Monahan.

"I would say creating PGA Tour Enterprises, we were just able to accept a billion and a half dollars in the business, people can nit-pick and say he didn't do this right or didn't do that right, but if you actually step back and look at the bigger picture, I think the PGA Tour is in a far stronger position than when Jay took over.

"I think some of the reaction to June 6th was warranted, but I think at this point it's eight months ago, and we all need to move on. We all need to sort of move forward and try to bring the game back together."

The fans seem to be getting spoken about a lot more recently, with Monahan vowing to put fans first in his press conference on Tuesday, and McIlroy believes unity in the game is the driving force behind giving golf fans more.

"If I were a fan, I would want to watch the best players compete against each other week in, week out," he said.

"To me, that seems like the lowest hanging fruit - well, not the lowest hanging fruit, but basically, okay, I think if you just unified the game and brought us all back together in some way, that would be great for the fans, I would imagine.

"I think that would then put a positive spin on everything that's happened here, and like okay, get together, we all move forward, and I think people could get excited about that.

"Again, I don't know what that looks like, and that seems like it's probably further away than it should be, but that's my perspective on it."

McIlroy also discussed the PGA Tour's signature events, whether he's spoken to Tiger Woods about the PIF negotiations, how he's balanced life as the tour's spokesperson with his golf game and his advice to Scottie Scheffler on going to a mallet.

Read more for everything Rory McIlroy said in his pre-Players Championship press conference.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV