Rory McIlroy has once again jumped to the defence of the PGA Tour, branding players who have moved to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour “duplicitous” for their actions.
His comments came amid rumours that Brooks Koepka was the latest big-name PGA Tour star to join the Greg Norman-led rebel circuit, which is causing shockwaves in the world of golf.
Minutes later, it was confirmed Koepka had moved to LIV.
Two years ago Koepka said he “already had enough” money that he could retire, adding: “If someone handed me $200m tomorrow, it’s not going to change my life.”
But that bravado appears to have been tested to the full, with the four-time major champ joining Dustin Johnston, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen on the 54-hole no cut circuit.
Speaking this afternoon at the Traveler’s Championship in Connecticut, McIlroy threw shade at Koepka for appearing to say one thing, then doing another.
“Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously,” said McIlroy, who serves as Chairman of the Player Advisory Council for the PGA Tour. “I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don’t understand that. And I don’t know if that’s for legal reasons or if they can’t... I have no idea - but it’s pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing.”
Pressed on what he meant and whether he was referring solely to Koepka’s comments last week, he said he was referring to the entire process of the supposed LIV ‘takeover’.
“The whole way through,” he said. “The whole way through, in public and private, all of it. Look, there’s obviously going to be some elevated events coming up here, and I think that’s important. I think it’s important for the future of the tour, and it’s important for where we are right now. But I don’t think it will minimise any other tournaments. You’re going to have tournaments that guys love to play, and they're going to come back and keep playing them.”
McIlroy was speaking to the media before Jay Monahan’s press conference, where he announced “significant changes” to the future PGA Tour schedule, including massive increases in purse sizes for certain events, and a revised Fall Series.
Monahan said the announcements were not related to what he called Greg Norman’s “Saudi Golf League”.