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Rory McIlroy earned a cheque for $18million after completing a thrilling, come-from-behind win in the Tour Championship – then turned the cannon back on LIV Golf.

The 33-year-old, one of the most vocal opponents to the Saudi-funded enterprise that has split men’s professional golf, told reporters at East Lake that he “hates” what it is doing to the game.

He added that he is unhappy that 18 so-called LIV ‘defectors’ will be joining him in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.

“If you believe in something, I think you have to speak up, and I believe very strongly about this,” said McIlroy following his narrow win over world No.1 Scottie Scheffler.

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“I hate what it’s doing to the game of golf. I hate it. I really do. It’s going to be hard for me to stomach going to Wentworth in a couple of weeks’ time and seeing 18 of them there. That just doesn’t sit right with me.

“So yeah, I feel strongly. I believe what I’m saying are the right things and I think when you believe that what you’re saying is the right things, you’re happy to stick your neck out on the line.”

On Sunday, Cameron Tringale became the latest player to jump ship for LIV, with six more expected to follow, perhaps as early as today.

However, it is understood that Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Young and Adam Scott will not be amongst them, the trio understood to have pledged fealty to the PGA Tour following Tiger Woods’ dash to Delaware a fortnight ago for a hastily-convened meeting of senior players.

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“I think it has got a little tribal but that was a huge turning point in all of this,” added McIlroy. “There’s opportunity in every challenge, and that was an opportunity for us to all get together and figure out how we can all work together to move things forward.

“The 20 whatever of us that met in that room in Delaware all committed, most of us, maybe 22 out of the 23, committed to each other and committed to guys, what can we do to make the Tour the best possible product so that we can all benefit.”

He added: “I’ve been in the thick of things. I guess every chance I get, I’m trying to defend what I feel is the best place to play elite professional golf in the world. It’s in some ways fitting that I was able to get this done today to sort of round off a year that has been very, very challenging and different.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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