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He might think his idea is “pie in the sky” right now, but Rory McIlroy is convinced a world tour is the way to unify golf. 

Speaking at the Genesis Invitational, McIlroy outlined his vision for an 80-man Champions League-style circuit to help end the division in the professional male game.

For so long LIV Golf’s most vocal opponent, McIlroy now believes it is critical for the PGA Tour to finalise a deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls the breakaway league, for peace to finally break out.

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That is despite his close friend Tiger Woods suggesting that the PGA Tour could manage without Saudi investment after securing a $3 billion investment from the Strategic Sports Group – a conglomerate led by Liverpool FC owners Fenway Sports Group.

The group of US billionaires have invested in a new commercial entity named PGA Tour Enterprises, with players including McIlroy afforded huge levels of equity in the company.

But it is still unclear what all this means for the game’s future. McIlroy, however, has now reiterated his call for a standalone circuit played with 80-man fields all around the world.

“I would think it would be one tour,” McIlroy said. “I think you would just create a tour for the top 80 players in the world.

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“Then I think everything sort of feeds up in that one. The way I look at it, it would be like [the] Champions League in European football.

“It sort of sits above the rest of the leagues and then all those leagues sort of feed up into that and the best of the best play against each other in the Champions League is how I would think about it.”

McIlroy added: “It’s all pie in the sky stuff, but I think there has to be a component of the southern hemisphere, Australia, South Africa… and the Far East, whether that be Korea, Japan, China.

“Obviously the Middle East as well. We’ve been going to the Middle East for a long time, but obviously Dubai, Saudi, and then sort of working our way from east to west and back into the US for the sort of spring, summertime.

“I don’t think it will look too dissimilar to what it is right now, but maybe the front end of the year and the back end of the year might look a little different. I don’t think we need to blow everything up, but there definitely needs to be some tweaks, I think.”

McIlroy resigned from the PGA Tour’s Policy Board three months ago to put all his energy into ending his winless run in the majors.

The Northern Irishman finished T24 at Riviera in LA over the weekend as thoughts turn towards his run at the Masters in April.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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