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Rory: 'I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career'

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy - The Canadian Press

Rory McIlroy has emphatically denied a report that a move to LIV Golf is imminent with the Northern Irish superstar pledging his future to the PGA Tour.

"I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career," McIroy told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

McIlroy's interview with Lewis came hours after his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, dismissed a report that broke late Sunday of McIlroy's defection being close as "fake news."

“Fake news. Zero truth,” O’Flaherty said in an email to the Irish Independent.

On Sunday, London outlet City A.M. reported that two separate sources revealed that a deal between McIlroy the Saudi-backed startup league was close and in the range of $850 million along with two per-cent equity. The report came just days after The Masters where LIV boss Greg Norman was following McIlroy as a ticketed spectator at Augusta National.

"I honestly don't know how these things get started," McIlroy told Lewis. "I've never been offered a number from LIV and I've never contemplated going to LIV. Again, I think I've made it clear over the past two years that I don't think it's something for me. That doesn't mean I judge people who went and played over there. I think one of the things I've realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions based on whatever they think is best for themselves and who are we to judge them for that? But, personally for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour and it's never been any different."

McIlroy says he doesn't begrudge anybody on the PGA Tour for listening to offers from their upstart competitor.

"I think the one thing I've realized, as well, is guys need to keep an open mind," McIlroy said. "I'm sure there's players still playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever."

Should McIlroy have joined LIV, it would have marked a stunning U-turn with McIlroy acting as one of the tour's staunchest critics since its inception in 2021.

McIlroy was often considered to be the face of the PGA Tour during its battle with LIV since it officially launched in June of 2022, even going as far to say he hated LIV and wished it would go away.

But McIlroy’s comments have softened in recent months since the two tours announced a shocking framework agreement to pool resources at the Canadian Open last June. While things have not publicly moved beyond the agreement in principle, McIlroy said the proposed merger made him feel like a “sacrificial lamb” and he resigned from the PGA Tour’s Policy Board in November. In January he said he was “too judgmental” of players who departed the PGA Tour to join LIV.

The four-time major championship winner finished in a tie for 22nd at Augusta and has one top 10 this season, coming two weekends ago at the Valero Texas Open. McIlroy won twice during the 2022-23 season – once at the CJ Cup in South Carolina and again at the Genesis Scottish Open – in addition to helping lead Team Europe to a Ryder Cup victory in Rome last fall.

McIlroy, 34, is currently the No. 2 ranked player in the world, but would not accrue Official World Golf Ranking points from LIV events under the current structure. This would have put his participation in the 2025 Masters in question and possibly hinder his ability to complete the coveted career grand slam, having won at least one of the other three major titles.

The Holywood, Northern Ireland native has 24 PGA Tour wins since turning pro back in 2007.