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Rory McIlroy softens his stance on Phil Mickelson and players wanting to play LIV Golf Series, Saudi back | Golf News

Rory McIlroy softens his stance on Phil Mickelson and players wanting to play LIV Golf Series, Saudi back | Golf News

McIlroy is chasing a fifth major victory and the first since 2014 this week at the PGA Championship, where Phil Mickelson opted out of returning to defend his title – watch the whole week live on Sky Sports Golf

Last update: 05/17/22 16:26


Speaking ahead of the PGA Championship, former world number 1 Rory McIlroy said his stance towards those who wanted to play in the Saudi Golf League had softened and believed the situation had become

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Speaking ahead of the PGA Championship, former world number 1 Rory McIlroy said his stance towards those who wanted to play in the Saudi Golf League had softened and believed the situation had become “toxic”.

Speaking ahead of the PGA Championship, former world number 1 Rory McIlroy said his stance towards those who wanted to play in the Saudi Golf League had softened and believed the situation had become “toxic”.

Rory McIlroy admits he understands why some players would be tempted by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series and thinks Phil Mickelson will be welcome back in the world of golf.

The PGA Tour has rejected players’ requests for approval to participate in the inaugural event, which will take place from June 9-11 in England at the Centurion Club, explaining that the decision is in the “best interests of the Tour and the players “.

Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood were among the players who requested a release to compete in the rival event, which faces the RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour and Scandinavian Mixed on the DP World Tour.

McIlroy said in February he felt the proposed breakaway league was “dead in the water” after several top players pledged allegiance to the PGA Tour, although the former world No. 1 admits he has since softened its position on the matter.

Ahead of this week's PGA Championship, check out the 10 best shots ever played at the tournament

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Ahead of this week’s PGA Championship, check out the 10 best shots ever played at the tournament

Ahead of this week’s PGA Championship, check out the 10 best shots ever played at the tournament

“If you’re coming to the end of your career and you have no guarantee of playing on the PGA Tour next year – it’s hard to keep your card here – and all of a sudden people give you the guaranteed for the next three or four years of playing, making money, having a job, I totally understand that,” McIlroy said. Sky Sports News.

“Yes, people are going to have a problem with who funds it and all that kind of stuff, but at the end of the day, they [Saudis] are in a lot of things and unfortunately however you want to think about it, it’s the way of the world and it won’t change.

Highlights of Rory McIlroy's Dominant Eight-Stroke 2012 PGA Championship Victory

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Highlights of Rory McIlroy’s Dominant Eight-Stroke 2012 PGA Championship Victory

Highlights of Rory McIlroy’s Dominant Eight-Stroke 2012 PGA Championship Victory

“They have a lot of money, they are going to be in a lot of things and that’s how it is. I certainly don’t want to stop anyone from making more money.

“Like some of those you speak of, my Ryder Cup teammates, I understand where they’re coming from and I certainly won’t say anything bad about them because they’re friends of mine and they have to do what’s right. for them.”

The wait is almost over for the second men's major of the year, with extensive coverage of the PGA Championship live in May on Sky Sports Golf

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The wait is almost over for the second men’s major of the year, with extensive coverage of the PGA Championship live in May on Sky Sports Golf

The wait is almost over for the second men’s major of the year, with extensive coverage of the PGA Championship live in May on Sky Sports Golf

The series – directed by Greg Norman – is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which has led to criticism of huge prize money from a government with a history of alleged human rights abuses. male.

When asked if his views on potential participation had changed, McIlroy added: “I think at the beginning it [the decision not to play] was moral. This [a breakaway series] been floating for seven or eight years. Now, at this point, it’s so toxic to talk about this for me, it’s more about self-preservation. I don’t need to get involved and I won’t get involved.

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“I love being my own boss and I certainly wouldn’t want Greg Norman telling me what to do, where to show up and when to be there! I’m happy to do my thing and be my own boss, and that’s a big party.”

Mickelson’s bid to play in the first event of the LIV Golf Invitational series has come with entries for the PGA Championship and US Open, although the 51-year-old is not defending the Wanamaker Trophy this week in Southern Hills. .

Claude Harmon III shares his thoughts on Phil Mickelson following his withdrawal from the PGA Championship, of which he is the defending champion

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Claude Harmon III shares his thoughts on Phil Mickelson following his withdrawal from the PGA Championship, of which he is the defending champion

Claude Harmon III shares his thoughts on Phil Mickelson following his withdrawal from the PGA Championship, of which he is the defending champion

The six-time major champion has taken a break from golf since the fallout from his explosive comments on the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed breakaway led by Norman.

Mickelson’s victory at Kiawah Island last May made him the oldest winner of a major men’s championship, with McIlroy disappointed not to see him make a competitive return to defend his title.

Rich Beem says he hasn't seen Phil Mickelson withdraw from the US PGA Championship but thinks there are more questions to ask

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Rich Beem says he hasn’t seen Phil Mickelson withdraw from the US PGA Championship but thinks there are more questions to ask

Rich Beem says he hasn’t seen Phil Mickelson withdraw from the US PGA Championship but thinks there are more questions to ask

“He [Mickelson] made decisions and had to live with some consequences of that,” McIlroy said. Sky Sports News. “People can say there were actions, but for the most part it was words and I think people can be forgiven for words.

“I came off a bit strong against him early on but my stance has definitely softened over the past few weeks. Phil Mickelson has been a legend in our game for 30 years and I certainly don’t think he should be ruled out. Game.

Jon Rahm thinks Phil Mickelson's legacy should not be tarnished despite his controversial comments and involvement in the LIV Golf International Series

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Jon Rahm thinks Phil Mickelson’s legacy should not be tarnished despite his controversial comments and involvement in the LIV Golf International Series

Jon Rahm thinks Phil Mickelson’s legacy should not be tarnished despite his controversial comments and involvement in the LIV Golf International Series

“I think every time he comes back maybe he should be a little nicer. He said bad things and offended some people, but I don’t think that justifies excluding him completely from the game. golf.

“I think he will be welcome and I think a lot of players will be happy to see him again, but it will be at his own pace and wherever he decides to show up again. Whether it’s in the United States on the PGA Tour , or at the LIV in London in a few weeks, it’s his decision and it’s rather where he is more comfortable to present himself again.”

Watch the 104th PGA Championship all week long live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the opening round begins Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.


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