Rory McIlroy to make unexpected return to PGA Tour Policy Board: Report

rory mcilroy swings wedge shot at the Masters in a lilac shirt

Rory McIlroy is expected to renew his post atop the PGA Tour policy board, a report says.

Darren Riehl.

Five months ago, Rory McIlroy announced a surprising decision. He was done as a player-director on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board, effective immediately, after years of strategizing and stressing about the future of the men’s professional game.

“I just felt like something had to give,” McIlroy said then. “I just didn’t feel like I could commit the time and the energy into doing that. I don’t mind being busy, but I just like being busy doing my own stuff. Something had to give and there’s guys that are on that board that are spending a lot more time and a lot more energy on it than I am.”

Five months later, McIlroy, it seems, is on the verge of making another announcement — and pardon us for borrowing our parlance from Jordan Belfort:

I’m not $%&#! leaving!

Per a report from the Guardian’s Ewen Murray, the four-time major champ is returning to his seat on the Policy Board — and adding a seat on the PGA Tour Enterprises board to boot.

The decision comes as longtime Policy Board member and PGA Tour veteran Webb Simpson tendered his own resignation from the board, according to Murray’s report, with the express-written request that McIlroy fill his spot.

The news would make sense for most of the parties involved with the PGA Tour as negotiations with the Saudi PIF regarding a potential merger to unify professional golf reach their 11th month — and have helped to contribute to considerable drops in television interest in men’s professional golf.

McIlroy, who has been one of the Tour’s most ardent defenders from the beginning of the fracture, brings a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of the Policy Board and an international perspective on the state of the game. Among the topics he is versed on is the DP World Tour, which could be considerably altered by the outcome of Tour-PIF negotiations. McIlroy’s understanding of LIV, including how perceptions of the league and its financiers have changed in the last three years, could also prove valuable.

It’s not known if McIlroy will make any noticeable change in helping talks between the two negotiating parties push any closer to the finish line. The Tour and PIF have missed at least one deadline to finalize an agreement, and progress on terms to reunify golf has crawled along. In recent months, negotiations have included a visit to Saudi Arabia from the PGA Tour’s leadership and a meeting between top-ranking PIF officials and PGA Tour stars.

The downside of returning to the board spotlight is a more personal burden for McIlroy, who will once again find himself the Tour’s de facto spokesman. That role occupied much of his time and caused him considerable strife during the first two years of LIV’s existence.

Now, it’s time for yet another move — back to where he started.

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