McIlroy: I Would Love LIV To Turn Into The IPL Of Golf

The big headlines last week were over Rory McIlroy saying that he had 'too judgemental' of players who had joined LIV Golf in the middle of 2022. McIlroy's position has softened in recent months and any possible criticism of Jon Rahm following his ground-breaking move to LIV never even got off the ground.

Speaking on the Stick To Football podcast McIlroy described the move as 'smart' and 'opportunistic'.

“With the whole framework agreement and the merger news in June, it has legitimised what LIV was trying to do, which then made it easier for guys to jump over to LIV Golf. Jon Rahm hasn’t got any of the heat for going like the first guys got for going. Jon is a smart guy and I think he sees things coming together at some point so he’s thinking that he’ll take the upfront money, which is his prerogative, and if things come together, he’ll play LIV for a year then come back to play on the Tour and play some team golf.

“It’s opportunistic. I think he sees that things will come back together and he’s in a lucky position. There’s not one person that wouldn’t want him on our Ryder Cup team because of how good he is, so he was in a great position where there wasn’t a ton of risk involved for him to go."

What was interesting was how McIlroy sees the future of LIV Golf in the broader spectrum of professional golf, something that remains up in the air and with very little clarity at all.

"I would love LIV to turn into the IPL of golf," said the 34-year-old. "They take two months of the calendar. You go and do this team stuff and a bit different and is a different format. If they were to do something like that I would say 'yeah that sounds like fun' because you are working within the ecosystem."

Once upon a time McIlroy explained that he would hang up the clubs 'if LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth'. Now it seems he has earmarked LIV with a seat at the table probably towards the end of the calendar year.

McIlroy did add though that the sums of money being talked about lately were fairly vulgar to the regular golf fan.

"The thing I have come to realise is if you have got people, or a sovereign wealth fund, wanting to spend money in your sport that is ultimately a good thing. But you just want to get them to spend it the right way and spend it on things that are important in the game.

"Instead of giving someone $100m why don't you put $50m into grass-roots programmes for the R&A or USGA. Spending that money to actually grow the game and not just buy talent would be a way better way.

"I’m sick of all the money talk in golf because the fans don’t care about it, they want to watch good golf and watch people compete against each other. The fans don’t care if you’re making this or this guy is on $200,000 a week, it just doesn’t resonate to them.”