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It has emerged that it wasn’t just those on the PGA Tour Policy Board who were opposed to Rory McIlroy’s return. 

McIlroy looked poised to be welcomed back to the PGA Tour’s boardroom at a critical juncture in the men’s professional game, with negotiations stalling with the Saudi backers of the rival LIV Golf breakaway league.

But the Northern Irishman revealed on Wednesday that he will not be taking Webb Simpson’s place on the board as anticipated, claiming that “a subset of people on the board were uncomfortable with me coming back on.”

• McEwan: Rejecting Rory is yet another PGA Tour misstep

• Why Rory McIlroy was denied return to PGA Tour board

Tiger Woods reportedly voted against McIlroy’s return, and it is now becoming clear that the four-time major champion would not have been a universally popular appointment with the Tour’s wider playing membership.

Tour veteran Kevin Streelman, formerly on the policy board, thinks McIlroy relinquished his chance to make a comeback when resigning from his role back in November.

“He was very clear that it was too much for him,” Streelman told Golfweek. “He had business dealings, he has a kid, he wants to focus on his game. Trust me, I get it. But once you quit, you’re not getting back.

“I wouldn’t quit on something that you were elected to by your peers. To want back in is peculiar.”

• Tournament boss calls for McIlroy to prevent player “ruining” PGA Tour

• Xander Schauffele responds to favourable ruling controversy

Another former player director, James Hahn, also strongly rejected the idea that Simpson should be able to choose his successor on the board.

“That’s just not how democracy works,” Hahn added. “It goes against all the principles of what make a Tour-run organisation.

“Imagine if instead of Rory, Webb said he wanted Nate Lashley, who has been vocal against some of the Tour policy decisions, or named me to replace him. There would be an absolute uproar. People would be saying, ‘You can’t do that.”

It has since been revealed, however, that McIlroy will indeed play some part in the PGA Tour’s peace talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

McIlroy will be part of the new Transaction Committee, a delegation with includes Woods, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Enterprises chair Joe Gordon, Fenway Sports chief John Henry, Adam Scott and Joe Ogilivy.

“I’m not on the board, but I’m in some way involved in that transaction committee,” McIlroy explained after his opening four-under 67 to sit tied for second at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I don’t have a vote so I don’t have I guess a meaningful say in what happens in the future, but I feel like I can be helpful on that committee, and that was sort of a compromise for I guess not getting a board seat.”

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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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