Rory McIlroy skips US Open media duty with PIF merger still in headlines

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​Days after describing his press conference before the Canadian Open as the "most uncomfortable" he has felt for a year, Rory McIlroy made sure to avoid a similar situation at the US Open.

McIlroy was due to speak to the media at 9am local time on Tuesday at Los Angeles Country Club, but informed tournament officials on Sunday he wished to cancel.

The four-time major winner is also currently not scheduled to speak on Wednesday ahead of the year's third major championship, which he won at Congressional in 2011.

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Speaking ahead of his title defence in the Canadian Open, McIlroy admitted he felt like a "sacrificial lamb" and still "hated" LIV Golf as he responded to the shock declaration of peace in golf's civil war.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during a practice round prior to the US OpenNorthern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during a practice round prior to the US Open
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during a practice round prior to the US Open

McIlroy and Tiger Woods had established themselves as the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV Golf, but were both kept in the dark about the stunning deal announced last week.

Fellow players reacted with surprise and a sense of betrayal at the news that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were merging their commercial operations with the golf-related businesses of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls LIV.

McIlroy said: "It's hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I've put myself out there and this is what happens."

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Asked following his opening round if he felt more pressure on the golf course or off it, McIlroy said: "Off. You know, the most uncomfortable I've felt in the last 12 months was my press conference yesterday."

McIlroy will partner another LIV player and US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka in the first two rounds in Los Angeles, along with former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

Tee-off times for Northern Ireland’s McIlroy and amateur Matthew McClean across the opening two rounds on Thursday and Friday (UK times):

FIRST ROUND: 16:35 – Ryan Fox, Matthew McClean, Seamus Power; 21:54 - Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy.

SECOND ROUND: 16:24 - Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy; 22:05 - Ryan Fox, Matthew McClean, Seamus Power.