Rory McIlroy shuts down $850 million LIV Golf rumors, pledges PGA Tour loyalty

Rory McIlroy denied that he was weighing a lucrative offer from the LIV Golf League and reaffirmed his loyalty to the PGA Tour.

pga tour rory mcilroy liv golf

Rory McIlroy squashed post-Masters speculation that he might be considering a jump to the LIV Golf League and strongly reaffirmed his loyalty to the PGA Tour — seemingly once and for all.

An unsubstantiated report circling Tuesday suggested that McIlroy was weighing a LIV offer worth upwards of $850 million, including an ownership stake in the league financed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) — the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

McIlroy flatly denied the rumors.

“I’ve never been offered a number from LIV, and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV,” McIlroy told the Golf Channel ahead of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

“I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years: I don’t think it’s something for me. Doesn’t mean that I judge people that have went and played over there.

“I think one of the things that I’ve realized over the past two years is people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves. Who are we to judge them for that? Personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour, and it’s never been any different.”

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman — a longtime adversary of McIlroy — was spotted on the Augusta National grounds as a ticketed patron during the Masters. He was reportedly following McIlroy's group, at times.

“Over the last two years, there has been so many rumors of guys,” McIlroy continued to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis. “And I think the one thing I’ve realized as well is guys need to keep an open mind. And I’m sure there’s guys still playing on the PGA Tour who have talked to guys from LIV and had offers and whatever.

“It’s never even been a conversation for us. It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with it, and this is the state our game is in. I’m obviously here today, I’m playing this PGA Tour event next week and I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”

McIlroy's agent, Sean O'Flaherty, shot down the rumors, too.

“Fake news. Zero truth,” he emailed the Irish Independent.

McIlroy, coming off a T22 at the Masters, is ranked No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

After spending two years as the PGA Tour's de facto spokesperson— and most high-profile LIV critic — McIlroy's stance has softened in recent months. He left the PGA Tour Policy Board in the fall and has advocated for unification.

Ahead of its third full season, LIV signed Tyrrell Hatton, Adam Meronk, and two-time major champion Jon Rahm for upwards of $350 million. They've yet to make a splash in 2024.

“Every time I get asked a question like this, I say the same thing: I think there's room for both,” Rahm said before LIV Miami earlier this month.  “… A little bit more variety doesn't really hurt anybody. So I think, properly done, we can end up with a much better product that can take golf to the next level worldwide, and I'm hoping that's what ends up happening.”

Unlike last year, representatives of LIV Golf — which plays a lighter schedule of 54-hole, no-cut events on friendlier courses — failed to impress at Augusta. Of the 13 LIV entrants, only Bryson DeChambeau flirted with contention.

2024 Masters ratings were down 20%, presumably a symptom of the prolonged dilution of talent on the PGA Tour.

“The fans are what drive this sport,” DeChambeau said in Miami. “If we don't have fans, we don't have golf. We are not up here entertaining. That's the most important thing as of right now. The low-hanging fruit. There's got to be a way to come together. And it needs to happen fast. … Too many people are losing interest.”

In March, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that while talks with PIF were “accelerating”, it would still “take time” to finalize the framework agreement announced last June.

Following his last-place Masters finish, Tiger Woods described a March meeting in the Bahamas with PGA Tour and LIV Golf bigwigs as a “positive” step.

McIlroy, Rahm, and the stars from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will converge next at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, for the 2024 PGA Championship — the site of McIlroy's last major, in 2014.