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Rory McIlroy says he won’t return to PGA Tour policy board after ‘pretty messy’ talks

Rory McIlroy says he won’t return to PGA Tour policy board after ‘pretty messy’ talks

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Rory McIlroy during the final round of the 2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Lousiana in New Orleans in April.


Rory McIlroy will not return to the PGA Tour’s policy council anytime soon after a number of “quite complicated and quite messy” discussions, the Northern Irishman said on Wednesday.

The world number 2 resigned as player director in November after two years citing ‘personal and professional commitments’, but admitted last month he would be willing to return to the board if wanted.

But following talks over Webb Simpson’s replacement, the American will now serve the remainder of his term – which runs until 2025 – after McIlroy ruled out a return, citing that some on the board felt “uneasy” about his return.

“There have been a lot of conversations,” McIlroy told reporters ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.

“It got quite complicated and quite messy, and I think the way it happened opened up old wounds and scar tissue from things that had happened before.

“There was a segment of people on the board who perhaps didn’t like me coming back for one reason or another. I think the best course of action is, if there are people who don’t like coming back, then I think Webb stays on and serves out his term.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been rejected,” he added. “It was a complicated process to get me back there. So that’s all fine, no hard feelings and we’ll all move on.

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McIlroy had shown a willingness to regain his former position on the board.

As reconciliation talks between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf drag on beyond the original Dec. 31 deadline, the schism between the warring tours continues to overshadow the men’s game.

The participation of LIV golfers – who cannot earn ranking points from on-course events – in the major championships remains a recurring point of contention, with seven players from the Saudi-backed league receiving special invitations to play next week’s PGA Championship .

McIlroy, who admitted in January that he had been “too judgmental” about the first players to switch from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, said both sides would have to be willing to make compromises to end the long-running feud .

As an example, the 35-year-old pointed to the Good Friday Agreement, a 1998 peace deal that ended decades of sectarian violence – ‘the Troubles’ – in his home country.

“Neither side was happy,” McIlroy recalled. “Catholics were not happy, Protestants were not happy, but it brought peace and then you just learn to live with what was negotiated.

“(Today) my generation doesn’t know any different – ​​this is just how it has always been and we have never known anything but peace.

“It probably won’t be a good feeling for either side,” he added. “But if it’s a place where the game of golf is going to flourish again and we can all get together again, then I think that’s ultimately a very good thing.”

Chasing a fourth victory at the Quail Hollow Club, McIlroy arrives in good form after winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month with compatriot Shane Lowry.

“I’ve had a pretty slow start to the season, especially here in the States,” he said.

“I felt like I needed something like that to get going and hopefully that’s the case.”