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Rory McIlroy has reacted to news of Jimmy Dunne’s shock resignation from the PGA Tour board, insisting that the circuit is “in a worse place” as a consequence.

In a brief press conference ahead of this week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, the world No.2 was asked for his take on the latest tour bombshell.

Dunne, a friend of McIlroy, tendered his resignation over the weekend in frustration at a lack of “meaningful progress” in turning the framework agreement into a more robust deal between the tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

In a letter obtained by Sports Illustrated, Dunne described his position as “utterly superfluous” ever since players seized control of the PGA Tour board and cut him out of negotiations with the PIF and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

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The news sent shockwaves through the game, not least because of Dunne’s influence, experience and considerable negotiating nous.

Like so many, McIlroy admits that it has left him concerned about the prospect of a deal between the PGA Tour and PIF being struck.

“I honestly think it’s a huge loss for the PGA Tour if they’re trying to get this deal done with PIF and try to unify the game,” said the four-time major champion and winner of the PGA last time it visited Kentucky.

“Jimmy was basically the the relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF and it’s been really unfortunate that he hasn’t been involved for the last few months. 

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“I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that. So it’s really, really disappointing and I think the tour is in a worse place because of it. 

“We’ll see where it goes from here and we’ll see what happens but I would say my, my confidence level on something getting done before last week was, you know, as low as it had been and then you know, with this news of Jimmy, resigning and and knowing the relationship he has with the other side, it’s concerning.”

Reporters were advised at the beginning of the press conference that McIlroy would not be answering any questions about his personal life or the divorce proceedings he started against his wife Erica Stoll on Monday.

In response to a question about his energy levels and how he doing on a personal level, he simply replied: “I’m ready to play this week.”

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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