Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Rory McIlroy admitted things “got pretty messy” when he revealed he had been all but rejected from the PGA Tour’s Policy Board.

“With the way it happened it opened up some wounds and scar tissue from things that have happened before,” the Northern Irishman said after his attempts to rejoin the board he stepped down from back in November proved futile.

McIlroy had claimed he was “happy to my bit” when it appeared a formality that the PGA Tour’s former de facto spokesperson would be making a return to help expedite peace talks with the Saudi Public Investment Fund  (PIF) bankrolling LIV Golf.

Webb Simpson was even prepared to relinquish his seat on the negotiation table as long as McIlroy could replace him in such seismic discussions.

Why Rory McIlroy was denied return to PGA Tour board

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

It turns out, however, that not everyone was as keen as Simpson to welcome McIlroy back to the boardroom.

“There was a subset of people on the board that were maybe uncomfortable with me coming back on for some reason,” the four-time major champion said.

And it appears Tiger Woods,  one of the five player directors other than Simpson who had the power to decide on the reinstatement of McIlroy, provided some resistance.

The Telegraph has reported that Woods voted against McIlroy rejoining the PGA Tour board, which has wider ramifications not only for their relationship, but also for the future outlook of the men’s professional game.

Woods and McIlroy have long been close friends and have built TGL together, an indoor golf league that launches early next year.

But its becoming increasingly apparent that the duo don’t see eye to eye on golf’s future.

McIlroy has reiterated that the LIV schism is harming the game and thinks the current divide is “unsustainable.” That is why he was prepared to return to the board to thrash out a deal with the breakaway league’s Saudi funders.

• Tour pro blasts ‘unfair’ PGA Championship invites

• US Open chief hints at future exemptions for LIV Golf stars

Woods, meanwhile says he held “positive” with PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas in the secret March meeting that looked to get the ball rolling again ahead of a definitive agreement.

But the 15-time major champion has also claimed in recent months the PGA Tour no longer needs Saudi investment because of the injection of cash from the Strategic Sports Group, a US conglomerate led by the Liverpool FC owners Fenway Sports Group.

“Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product,” Woods said in February. “Financially, we don’t [need that] right now. Anything beyond this is going to be obviously over and above. We’re in a great position right now.”

And according to Golf Digest, such conflicting views on the sport’s landscape has led the relationship between McIlroy and Woods to “sour in the last six months.”

So much so, it would appear, that Woods did not fancy reuniting with McIlroy in the PGA Tour’s boardroom.

author headshot

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.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses