Rory McIlroy is known to be no slouch, and the four-time big winner has been especially punchy lately when talking about the state of the game and the future of the PGA Tour amid the rise of LIV Golf. Ahead of this week’s Travelers Championship, McIlroy was perhaps most outspoken when asked to discuss changing allegiances, calling several of his colleagues “ambiguous” for backing out of their previously stated PGA Tour commitments.
When asked directly about Brooks Kepka choosing to play for LIV Golf after previously claiming he was not interested in joining the Saudi-backed league, the Northern Irishman didn’t hold back.
“I am surprised? Yes, because of what he said earlier,” McIlroy said. “I think that’s why I’m surprised by a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another and I don’t get it. And I don’t know if it’s for legal reasons or if they can.” I have no idea, but it’s rather duplicitous of them to say one thing and do another.”
In the run-up to the US Open, Koepka criticized the assembled media for questions about the LIV Golf, saying questions about the league were inappropriate and “throw that black cloud over the US Open”, one of his favorite events of the year. McIlroy clarified that he was referring to more than just last week’s comments.
“All the way. All the way, in public and privately, all of that,” McIlroy said.
Back in February, Koepka said he and “everyone here is happy” with the PGA tour. Later that month at the Honda Classic, he spoke more directly about those who might prefer money to prestige.
“Everyone talks about money. They have enough of them,” Koepka said. “I don’t see him retreat; they can just double [the purses]and they’ll figure it out. [LIV Golf will] get your guys. Someone will sell out and go for it.”
McIlroy, who is experiencing a resurgence on the track this season, is aiming to win his second tournament in three tries this week in Cromwell, Connecticut. With the PGA Tour planning to expand select event wallets throughout the schedule in hopes of stemming the flood of its stars leaving for LIV Golf, the 21-time tour winner said he’s not concerned about events not receiving boosted wallets. diminish in the eyes of his peers.
“Look, it’s obvious that important things are going to happen here, and I think that’s important. I think it’s important for the future of the tour, and it’s important for where we are right now,” McIlroy said, “but I don’t think it will minimize any other tournaments. You’ll have tournaments that guys love to play and they’ll come back and keep playing.”