From the moment LIV Golf was only just a rumor, Rory McIlroy has been the loudest and most consistent critic of the Saudi-backed circuit. He's become the poster child of the anti-LIV movement among PGA Tour players, but he's getting a little tired of being the unofficial spokesperson of that group.
McIlroy is one of only a few golfers on the planet that when he talks, you listen. The four-time major winner is both honest and thoughtful when standing in front of a mic and understands the public relations side of things.
So, when LIV Golf was entering the golf world, media members and the PGA Tour itself leaned on McIlroy to be the guy to push back.
Being the guy can become exhausting after a while, especially when you're trying to win golf tournaments yourself.
Ahead of this week's FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, McIlroy was asked if he's enjoyed being the unofficial spokesperson for the Tour. To no surprise, he was honest with his answer.
"Not really. I don't feel like it's my job to be up here and stick up for the Tour or be a spokesperson," McIlroy explained. "It's just sort of the role that I found myself in, especially coming on the PGA Tour board this year, it was a great time to agree to do that."
McIlroy is right, it isn't his job to be a spokesperson for the PGA Tour, but he's fallen into that role because he's the universally beloved, experienced golfer everyone looks to for answers.
It's also fair to say that McIlroy has put some of this pressure to be the go-to anti-LIV guy on himself. He's dragged the Saudi-backed tour, Greg Norman, and LIV golfers as a collective on multiple occasions.
The media and Tour hear and read his comments, so of course they're going to continue to press him looking for that next soundbite in an attempt to crush LIV Golf.
Both things can be true, but it doesn't make the ongoing situation he finds himself in any less exhausting. Being the poster child among players and media amid an unprecedented battle in the world of golf has to be tiring.
Interestingly enough, McIlroy went on to explain that his escape nowadays is actually going inside the ropes and playing golf. I'm not so sure he carried that same mindset six months ago.
"I think, I've said this to a few people, I feel when I then get myself inside the ropes, it's like no one can get to me and it's really nice," McIlroy told the media in Memphis. "So it's actually made the golf part of it way more enjoyable and I sort of appreciate it a little bit more because of all the other stuff that's going on."
At the end of the day, McIlroy will continue to carry the most water for the PGA Tour. It may not be by choice, but more so because nobody else wants to jump in and play the lead role he's been playing for months.
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