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Rory McIlroy admitted seeing LIV Golf players at the top of the leaderboard at the BMW PGA Championship gave him “extra motivation”.

LIV’s Talor Gooch and Patrick Reed both threatened at Wentworth, before Shane Lowry’s eventual victory with McIlroy and Jon Rahm tied for second.

McIlroy, along with Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick and Billy Horschel, was outspoken ahead of the tournament in his belief the rebels should not have been allowed to play.

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And he admitted their presence at the business end on Sunday had spurred him on.

“The leaderboard at Wentworth last week at about 2pm on Sunday was looking pretty grim if you were in a position that I hold,” he said ahead of this week’s Italian Open.

“That probably gave me some extra motivation and a few other guys on the leaderboard to get past that 14-under mark.”

McIlroy also admitted he can’t help but speak out on the current power struggle between LIV and the established tours, so strong are his feelings towards the breakaway circuit.

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“It’s a weird time in golf, and hopefully over the next couple years we can resolve it in some sort of way,” he said.

“But right now, I’m a golfer. I play golf. I maybe put myself in a conversation too much at times. But I can’t help myself because I feel strongly about it.

“It’s up to the powers that be to try to come to some sort of, not resolution, I don’t think that’s the right word but a strategy going forward so that the game can drive at the highest level.”

McIlroy also had his say on the Ryder Cup, which will be played at this week’s venue, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

“I’m not sure what LIV’s schedule looks like, if there’s tournament on that week or where in the world they are playing,” he said. 

“But I have said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team.”

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