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Ahead of the PGA Tour’s player directors meeting with the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Monday, Rory McIlroy has taken a fresh swipe at LIV Golf and its CEO Greg Norman.

A delegation of players from the tour, including Tiger Woods, are set to hold talks with Yasir Al-Rumayyan on Monday in what is being billed as a major step forward in attempts to broker peace in the fractured ranks of the men’s professional game.

As the man in charge of the Saudi purse strings, Al-Rumayyan is, to all intents and purposes, LIV’s bankroller. It is expected that he will take the opportunity to outline to Woods et al how the PIF intends to work alongside the PGA Tour moving forward.

According to McIlroy, who resigned as a player director of the tour in November, the meeting is long overdue.

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“I think it should have happened months ago, so I am glad that it’s happening,” said the Irishman. “Hopefully that progresses conversations and gets us closer to a solution.”

McIlroy added that he hopes his fellow players will see that Al-Rumayyan “fundamentally wants to do the right thing”.

“I have spent time with Yasir,” added the world No.2. “The people that have represented him in LIV I think have done him a disservice, so Norman and those guys.

“I see the two entities, and I actually think there’s a really big disconnect between PIF and LIV.

“I think you got PIF over here and LIV are sort of over here doing their own thing. So, the closer that we can get to Yasir, PIF and hopefully finalise that investment, I think that will be a really good thing.

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“They’re a sovereign wealth fund. They want to park money for decades and not worry about it. They want to invest in smart and secure businesses, and the PGA Tour is definitely one of those, especially if they’re looking to invest in sport in some way.”

However, McIlroy, who finished T19 at The PLAYERS Championship, warned that re-unifying the sport could take years.

“It’s going to require patience,” he said. “People have contracts at LIV up until 2028, 2029. I don’t know if they’re going to see that all the way out, but I definitely see LIV playing in its current form for the next couple of years while everything gets figured out.

“I don’t think this is an overnight solution, but if we can get the investment in, then at least we can start working towards a compromise where we’re not going to make everyone happy, but at least make everyone understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

author headshot

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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