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Rory McIlroy has surprisingly revealed he will not be rejoining the PGA Tour Policy Board. 

Despite resigning in November, McIlroy was poised to make a return to the boardroom to help expedite the stalling negotiations over a peace deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund bankrolling the rival LIV Golf League.

Webb Simpson offered to resign from his role as a player director, as long as McIlroy assumed his place. But the four-time major champion has now implied that Simpson will remain on the board instead.

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“It just got pretty complicated and pretty messy,” McIlroy said ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

“With the way it happened it opened up some wounds and scar tissue from things that have happened before. And I think there was a subset of people on the board who were uncomfortable with me coming back on for some reason.

“I think the best course of action is if there is some people on there who aren’t comfortable with coming back on, then I think Webb stays on and sees out his term. He’s got to a place where he’s comfortable with doing that. I just keep doing what I’m doing.”

McIlroy had been prepared to return to the frontline to help unify the sport after reiterating that the LIV schism was harming the future of the elite men’s game.

“I put my hand up to help,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it was rejected. I would just say it was a complicated process to put me back on there so that’s all fine. No hard feelings and we’ll all move on.”

Asked if he still hopes a peace deal can be reached, the Northern Irishman said: “I’m still optimistic. I think Webb staying on is a really good thing. I think he’s got a really balanced voice in all of this and I think he sees the bigger picture, which is great.

“My fear was if Webb stepped off and it wasn’t me that was going in his place, what could potentially happen. I’m really happy that Webb has made that decision to stay on and serve out the rest of his term.”

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McIlroy also invoked the Good Friday Agreement – the political deal that ended 30 years of violent conflict in Northern Ireland –  when discussing the need for compromise from both sides for a solution to golf’s divide.

“I’m impatient because I think we’ve got this window of opportunity to get it done, because both sides from a business perspective I wouldn’t say need to get it done, but it makes sense,” he said.

“I sort of liken it to when Northern Ireland went through the peace process in the ’90s and the Good Friday Agreement, neither side was happy. Catholics weren’t happy, Protestants weren’t happy, but it brought peace and then you just sort of learn to live with whatever has been negotiated, right?

“That was in 1998 or whatever it was and 20, 25, 30 years ahead, my generation doesn’t know any different. It’s just this is what it’s always been like and we’ve never known anything but peace. That’s sort of my little way of trying to think about it and trying to make both sides see that there could be a compromise here.

“Yeah, it’s probably not going to feel great for either side, but if it’s a place where the game of golf starts to thrive again and we can all get back together, then I think that’s ultimately a really good thing.”

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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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