‘For the rest of my career’: Rory McIlroy reiterates stance amid LIV Golf rumor

rory mcilroy looks on

In a Tuesday interview from the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, Rory McIlroy addressed a rumor that said he could be heading to LIV Golf.

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If there was ever any chance Rory McIlroy would leave the PGA Tour for a lucrative contract with LIV Golf, he might have put an end to that possibility with one brief interview Tuesday.

Speaking to Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on-site at this week’s RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C., McIlroy denied a recent rumor that he was contemplating a move to LIV Golf. City AM, a London-based financial paper, reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources, that “McIlroy is close to joining LIV Golf.”

McIlroy addressed it at Harbour Town.

“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. Doesn’t mean I judge people that have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I have realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions for 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 has long been one of the PGA Tour’s biggest defenders and LIV critics since the start-up league came to fruition a couple years ago, although he felt blindsided when the two sides announced last June they were working on a merger.

“It’s hard for me to not sit up here and feel like a sacrificial lamb,” said McIlroy, less than 24 hours after the deal was made. “[I’m] feeling like I’ve put myself out there and this is what happens.”

In the time since the merger — which is still pending — McIlroy has softened his stance on LIV, at least publicly. Two of his 2023 Ryder Cup teammates, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, joined LIV for the 2024 season.

In an appearance on Gary Neville’s The Overlap a few months ago, McIlroy called it “a smart business move from Jon.”

“It’s opportunistic,” McIlroy told Neville. “I think he sees that things will come back together and he’s in a lucky position. There’s not one person that wouldn’t want him on our Ryder Cup team because of how good he is, so he was in a great position where there wasn’t a ton of risk involved for him to go. I’ve got no problem with him going if that’s what he wants to do and he thinks that’s the right decision for him and his family. Who am I to say any different at this point?”

On Tuesday, McIlroy added he’s not sure where the recent rumor about a PGA Tour departure started, but over the past few months he’s learned to keep an open mind.

“I’m sure there’s been players who are still playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever,” he said. “But I have no idea [where the rumor started]. It’s never even been a conversation for us. It’s one of those things, it’s unfortunate that we have to deal with it and this is the state that our game is in, but yeah, I’m obviously here today and I’m playing the PGA Tour event next week and I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”

McIlroy is paired with another Ryder Cup teammate, Ludvig Aberg, for the first two rounds of the RBC Heritage, which is one of the Tour’s big-money Signature Events. Aberg is coming off a runner-up finish in his major debut at the Masters; McIlroy was T22 at Augusta. They tee off at 1:40 p.m. ET on Thursday and 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.