LIV Golf aim to recruit up to 12 new stars As Rory McIlroy shows true colour with Saudi investment

Even though up to 12 players have contacted Rory McIlroy about potentially jumping ship to the breakaway LIV Golf Tour, the golfer has a clear vision for the game’s future. Norman Gregg

Rory McIlroy, a PGA Tour regular, has acknowledged that the Middle East will play a role in golf’s future while still advocating for a World Tour.

McIlroy has been a harsh critic of LIV Golf, the Saudi-sponsored breakaway tour. Broken ties, however, might be mendable as negotiations to reconcile are underway between the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the PGA, and the DP World Tour.

Having resigned from the PGA Tour Policy Board in November of last year, McIlroy has a distinct vision for the future of golf. The four-time major winner said, “It’s all pie in the sky stuff, it’s all very – you know, I think there has to be a component of the southern hemisphere, Australia, South Africa.”

“The Far East, comprising China, Japan, and Korea, must undoubtedly have a component. And, of course, the Middle East. We have a long history of traveling to the Middle East, but this time we are going to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and then we will be traveling sort of east to west before returning to the United States for the spring and summer.

“The front and back ends of the year might look a little different, but overall, I don’t think it will look too different from what it is right now.”

But with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman acknowledging more players will join after Jon Rahm joins the tour, the PGA Tour may lose more players. According to Norman, “eight to twelve” players have inquired about joining the series.

“It tells you the value of what our platform is where these players from the PGA Tour recognize the potential that LIV presents,” he continued. The guys who play on League of Legends are ecstatic about their choice. We’ve created something special because, quite frankly, the players want to play on both the PGA Tour and LIV, which are different platforms. They have fully embraced it as a franchise and a team concept.”

Concerns have been expressed regarding how the schedules of the DP World Tour, PGA Tour, and LIV Golf League would coexist with a single World Tour. According to McIlroy, “I think you would just create a tour for the top 80 players in the world.”

Everything seems to lead up to that one, in my opinion. It would be similar to the Champions League in European football, in my opinion. In my opinion, it sort of sits above the other leagues, and then all of those leagues kind of feed into that, with the best of the best competing against one another in the Champions League.

“As I mentioned towards the end of the previous year, everyone is involved in this game for their own reasons, which is what happens when the landscape is so fractured at this point.

“Therefore, it would be fairly easy if you could persuade everyone that this is the right thing to do for the game of golf as a whole, while also trying to align everyone’s interests. However, the current focus is merely on getting everyone to sing from the same hymn sheet.”

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