Golf

Rory McIlroy hints there is chance he could join LIV Golf

The Northern Irishman has softened his stance on the breakaway Saudi venture in recent months.

Rory McIlroy has suggested there is a chance he could join the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf Tour
Rory McIlroy has suggested there is a chance he could join the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf Tour Rory McIlroy has suggested there is a chance he could join the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf Tour (Richard Sellers/PA)

Rory McIlroy has suggested there is a chance he could leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf.

McIlroy took a strident position against the big-money Saudi venture, which tempted a host of top names with lavish paydays and disrupted the established order of the PGA and European Tours.

But the world number two – who even claimed last summer that he would “rather retire” than become a LIV rebel – has softened his stance in recent months as Europe Ryder Cup team-mates Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton have made the switch from the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm (left) has made the switch to LIV Golf
42nd Ryder Cup – Preview Day Three – Le Golf National Rory McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm (left) has made the switch to LIV Golf

McIlroy’s former agent Chubby Chandler has claimed the Northern Irishman could make a shock move to LIV Golf – and the four-time major champion did not completely dismiss the idea ahead of the Cognizant Classic in Palm Beach Gardens.

Chandler put a potential switch at 10 per cent and, asked at a pre-tournament press conference whether he would put a percentage on him joining LIV Golf, McIlroy replied: “Somewhere in the middle maybe. Who knows?



“I think he’s writing a book, so there is that. I spoke to Chubby, I might have seen him in the Middle East at the start of the year.

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

McIlroy began his 2024 campaign by finishing second to Tommy Fleetwood at the Dubai Invitational and then winning the Dubai Desert Classic for a record fourth time.

Rory McIlroy’s former agent Chubby Chandler has said there is a 10 per cent chance the Northern Irishman could join the LIV Golf Tour
Horse Racing – Paddy Power Imperial Cup Day – Sandown Rory McIlroy’s former agent Chubby Chandler has said there is a 10 per cent chance the Northern Irishman could join the LIV Golf Tour (Daniel Hambury/PA)

But it has not been plain sailing for the 34-year-old since returning to the PGA Tour this month.

McIlroy finished tied 66th at the rain-ruined AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and had a share for 24th at the Genesis Invitational.

“I feel like Pebble, the weather disrupted it and the courses were super soft,” said Florida resident McIlroy, who held off Tiger Woods at this event in 2012 to win and claim the world number one spot for the first time.

“I won the pro-am portion, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

“And then Riv (Riviera Country Club) was pretty good. I made a mess of 15 and 16 on the first day but apart from that, I felt like I played some pretty good golf.

“I feel like my game is in pretty good shape. You know, it’s nice to stay at home this week and feel a little more I guess relaxed in the surroundings.”

On what he defines as a successful season, McIlroy, a 24-time PGA Tour winner, added: “I guess it comes down to wins and season-long titles and major championships.

“I can’t sit here and say that the last 10 seasons haven’t been successful because I haven’t won a major.

“But at the same time, I recognize that whenever all is said and done I’m going to be judged on those tournaments a lot.

“Hopefully among other things as well but, yeah, winning is always good. The more wins you can get the better.”