Connect with us


Rory McIlroy’s camp dispels $850 million LIV Golf notion with fake news bomb



Rory McIlroy is staying on the PGA Tour, at least for now.

McIlroy’s rumored move to LIV Golf for $850 million has “zero truth,” according to The Irish Independent. McIlroy’s manager, Sean O’Flaherty, also indicated that the rumor was “fake news.”

Jaime Weir of SkySports called the McIlroy story “complete nonsense.” Meanwhile, The Telegraph’s James Corrigan said he heard nothing when asked about these rumors.

Earlier on Monday, City AM, one of London’s largest circulating financial newspapers, claimed to have two sources pointing to a deal between McIlroy and LIV Golf, which also included the Northern Irishman acquiring a 2% stake in the company.

Rory McIlroy shakes hands with LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann after their final round at the 2024 Masters.
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Speculation about McIlroy moving to LIV Golf picked up steam when his former agent, Chubby Chandler, suggested he could do so in February.

“If you were being cynical, you might say he’s going to sign for around $950 million in a month’s time with LIV because he’s paving the way that LIV’s okay now, whereas it wasn’t,” Chandler said per Bunkered Online.

“Who knows? He doesn’t need £750 million, but it’s odd what he’s done, and I’m sure it’s a possibility. I don’t know if he does it or not, but if [Jon] Rahm can do it, most guys can.”

Chandler then went on to say that McIlroy had a “10-percent possibility” of joining LIV.

That led McIlroy to cheekily address these comments ahead of The Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches in late February.

“I spoke to Chubby, might have saw him in the Middle East at the start of the year,” McIlroy said at PGA National.

“Never know. He might know a few things. Who knows.”

McIlroy has changed his tune regarding professional golf over the past few months, not disparaging LIV Golf like he used to and instead calling for unification.

Ahead of the Dubai Invitational in January, McIlroy laid out his vision for a global tour in which all of the top players from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf traverse the world playing the globe’s greatest venues. He envisions a 14-tournament series with 75-to-80 players to coincide with the major championships.

“My dream scenario is a world tour, with the proviso that corporate America has to remain a big part of it all. Saudi Arabia, too. That’s just basic economics. But there is an untapped commercial opportunity out there. Investors always want to make a return on their money,” McIlroy said in January.

Rory McIlroy, Hero Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot during the final round of the 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January.
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

“Revenues at the PGA Tour right now are about $2.3 billion. So, how do we get that number up to four or six? To me, it is by looking outward. They need to think internationally and spread their wings a bit. I’ve been banging that drum for a while.”

McIlroy has repeatedly called for an agreement at every turn. Still, a concrete deal between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment (PIF)—LIV Golf’s beneficiary—seems far away.

“I don’t know if we’re closer, but certainly we’re headed in the right direction,” Tiger Woods, a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board, said at Augusta National on Sunday.

“That was a very positive meeting [in March], and I think both sides came away from the meeting feeling positive.”

The policy board met with Yasir al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, in the Bahamas on the Monday after The Players Championship. That meeting served as an “ice breaker” of sorts, but substantial progress has not been made.

Instead, rumors, such as McIlroy’s departure, continue to swirl, which will only turn golf fans away and jeopardize the longstanding stature of a niche sport.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

Continue Reading