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Rory McIlroy will no longer join the PGA Tour board after a setback
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Rory McIlroy will no longer join the PGA Tour board after a setback

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rory McIlroy will not return to the PGA Tour policy board as expected because of other player directors’ concerns about bringing him back, McIlroy said Wednesday.

McIlroy, who resigned from the policy council on November 14, would replace Webb Simpson on the PGA Tour policy council and the board of directors of PGA Tour Enterprises.

“There’s been a lot of conversations,” McIlroy said ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo championship at the Quail Hollow Club. “It kind of reminded me why I didn’t stay on the board. So yeah, I think it got quite complicated and quite messy.

“I think the way it happened opened up some old wounds and some scar tissue from things that had happened before. I think there was a segment of people on the board who maybe didn’t like me taking one came back for some reason.”

Simpson, 38, will complete his term, which ends in 2025. Simpson had hoped to step down from the board to spend time with his family.

“I think the best course of action is if there are people who don’t like me coming back, then I think Webb just stays and finishes his term,” McIlroy said. “I think he’s at a point where he’s comfortable with that, and I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Besides Simpson, the other player directors on the tour’s policy board are Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods. Former tour member Joe Ogilvie is board liaison.

McIlroy, the world’s No. 2 golfer, had joined the policy council in 2022 and was expected to serve until 2024. The 35-year-old cited personal and professional commitments when he decided to leave the board late last year.

McIlroy’s surprising turnaround comes as the PGA Tour tries to negotiate a final agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which finances the rival LIV Golf League. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and player directors from the policy board met with PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas on March 18.

McIlroy previously met with Al-Rumayyan to discuss the future of professional men’s golf. McIlroy said Al-Rumayyan wanted to do the “right thing” with PIF’s investment in golf.

He said some PGA Tour members have expressed concerns about the potential of playing a global schedule outside the U.S. and whether golfers who left for LIV Golf will be allowed to return to the tour.

With Simpson remaining on the policy board, McIlroy said he is “still optimistic” that a deal with the PIF can be reached.

“I think Webb staying on is a very good thing,” McIlroy said. “I think he has a very balanced voice in all of this, and I think he sees the bigger picture, which is great. “My fear was that if Webb stepped down and I didn’t go in his place, what might happen next? can happen.” to happen? Yes, I’m really happy that Webb has made the decision to stay on and serve out the remainder of his term.”

McIlroy, who grew up in Northern Ireland, said both sides will have to make compromises in good faith to reach a deal. He is frustrated that a deal hasn’t been finalized yet, because “we now have the opportunity to get it done.”

Discussing what would need to be done to bring the fractured sport together, McIlroy invoked the Good Friday Agreement of April 10, 1998, which ended the political unrest in Ireland and Northern Ireland that had raged since the 1960s. took place.

“Catholics weren’t happy, Protestants weren’t happy, but it brought peace, and then you kind of learn to live with what was negotiated, right?” McIlroy said. “That was in 1998 or whatever it was, and 20, 25, 30 years later, my generation doesn’t know any different. This is just how it has always been, and we have never known anything but peace.

“That’s, I guess, my little way of thinking about it and showing both sides that there could be a compromise here. Yes, it’s not going to be a good feeling for either party, but if it’s a place where the game of golf is going to flourish again and we can all come together again, then I think that’s a really good thing in the end.”