Rory McIlroy set to make sensational return to PGA Tour policy board

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy is set to make a sensational return to the PGA Tour’s policy board just five months after stepping down from it and subsequently saying there should be a punishment-free pathway back to the US circuit for LIV Golf players.

In a development first reported by The Guardian, the Northern Irishman is poised to reclaim a seat alongside Tiger Woods on the influential policy board pending a vote, which could take place as early as this week.

Appearing to confirm his re-appointment was imminent, McIlroy, who is expected to replace former US Open champion Webb Simpson after it was claimed he’d tendered his resignation and requested that the world No 2 takes his spot, said in a message to Sky Sports News on Monday evening: "I'd rather the men's golf professional landscape survived this, so I'm happy to do my bit."

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He was referring, of course, to ongoing talks between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a framework agreement that was struck out of the blue last June.

Policy board player members, including 15-time major winner Woods, met Yasir al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, in the Bahamas last month along with representatives of the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), which signed a whopping commercial deal with the PGA Tour earlier this year.

Speaking at The Masters a fortnight ago, Woods said of that get-together: “I don't know if we're closer, but certainly we're headed in the right direction. That was a very positive meeting and I think both sides came away from the meeting feeling positive.”

The news that McIlroy, who joined the Player Advisory Council in 2019 then served on the policy board from 2021 to last November before resigning due to the fact he felt drained by being a voice for the PGA Tour when it was in a fight with LIV Golf, is set to be involved again could now be significant on the basis of comments he made during The Players Championship in Florida last month.

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“Fundamentally he wants to do the right thing,” the four-time major winner said of Al-Rumayyan at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. “I think I've said this before, I have spent time with Yasir and his – the people that have represented him in LIV I think have done him a [LIV commissioner Greg] Norman and those guys.

“I see the two entities, and I think there's a big...I actually think there's a really big disconnect between PIF and LIV. I think you got PIF over here and LIV are sort of over here doing their own thing.

"So the closer that we can get to Yasir, PIF and hopefully finalise that investment, I think that will be a really good thing.”

More recently, McIlroy talked about how the “game is way better with all of us together”.

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Other policy board members include Patrick Cantlay – described by McIlroy as a d*** in the past – and Jordan Spieth, who has clashed with McIlroy in the past about PIF matters relating to the PGA Tour.

McIlroy is joining forces with Ryder Cup team-mate Shane Lowry in this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana, where he is scheduled to hold a press conference after the pro-am on Wednesday.

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