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Rory McIlroy has emerged as the unofficial spokesperson of the PGA Tour over the last two years or so regarding its battle with LIV Golf. While McIlroy has made it abundantly clear that he is not a supporter of the Saudi-backed circuit, his harsh tone towards LIV has softened, and LIV CEO Greg Norman has taken notice.
In February 2022, a few months before LIV Golf’s first event, McIlroy claimed that the start-up tour was “dead in the water.” Fast-forward to September 2022 and the four-time major winner went on record stating that LIV and the PGA Tour need to find a way to work together.
Just last week he told the Guardian that the ongoing battle in the world of professional golf is a “silly little squabble.”
Norman is very appreciative that McIlroy, the most influential golfer on the planet not named Tiger Woods, has taken a break from bashing LIV Golf.
“I am glad Rory is starting to maybe see the light a little bit,” Norman told BBC Northern Ireland.
“I am glad Rory has recognized that LIV really truly identified how antiquated the PGA Tour was. I am glad Rory is recognizing LIV has been a leader in getting the PGA Tour to try and follow us. Why have we done that? Because of the players.”
McIlroy’s change in tune is likely a result of a few different factors.
For starters, LIV is now in its second season, time has passed, and a year older McIlroy has gained a more mature perspective on the entire situation at hand.
Second, and most importantly, LIV Golf has forced the PGA Tour to make some changes that have directly benefitted McIlroy and other top players on Tour. The addition of elevated events, some of which won’t feature a cut starting next season, and increased purses are hard for McIlroy and other superstars to be angry about.
Norman and McIlroy are by no means buddies all of a sudden, but it is interesting to see just how more tolerant the two have become with one another in just over a year and some change.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris
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Rory is a petulant little bitch. PGA members should be thanking Norman and Mickelson.