Rory McIlroy: Saudi Billions Would Be Better Spent Within PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy reacts to his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 18, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

For months all we’ve heard from the golf monopoly down in Ponte Vedra was how this “blood money” from Saudi Arabia was going to ruin the game – ignoring the fact that the same money is washed throughout sport in the western world.

Also, put aside the hypocrisy that McIlroy and the pro golf tours regularly chase cash in places like Dubai and Shanghai, hardly homes of democracy.

But it’s suddenly dawned on McIlroy (and Monahan) that a.) the LIV Golf tour is here to stay, including an expansion into the women’s game, and b.) the PGA Tour may be left holding a bag of nothing while everyone around them gets rich.

Hence, the one-time “blood money” from Saudi Arabia is suddenly “a good thing”… to grow the game and whatnot.

“I think that needs to happen,” said McIlroy, when questioned whether the PGA Tour should start negotiations with the LIV Golf League.

“There’s so much chat about where the money is coming from and Saudi [Arabia] and everything else. They sponsor so many other things. They’re all over sport. I understand people’s reservations with everything, but at the same time, if these people are serious about investing billions of dollars into golf, I think ultimately that’s a good thing.

“All the narrative is that it isn’t good; it’s splitting the game instead of everyone coming together. I think everyone needs to try to come together a little more.”

McIlroy, who uttered the now famous words, “dead in the water” when predicting the feasibility of the LIV Golf tour, now thinks “investing billions of dollars into golf” is “good thing” but that it should be invested “inside the existing structures” (i.e., the PGA Tour headquarters) instead of with a “big disruptor” like the LIV Golf tour.

“[Saudi oil company] Aramco are big sponsors of Formula One, the Aramco Ladies Series in golf, which has actually been really good for the ladies in terms of big prize funds and so on, so I understand people’s reservations with everything,” said McIlroy via the BBC.

“But at the same time, if these people are serious about investing billions of dollars into golf, I think ultimately that’s a good thing. But it has to be done the right way, and I think if they were to invest, having it be invested inside the existing structures. And I think that’s the thing I’ve tried to advocate for the last few months.

“I think at this point, if people are wanting to spend that much money into golf, that’s wonderful. I just wish that we could have spent that much money within the structure that has existed for many decades in golf instead of being this big disruptor.”

So much to unpack here: but were Rory McIlroy and the tour working on some kind of a side deal of their own with the Saudis to undercut LIV Golf? Sounds like it.

If so, the double talk we’ve heard from Ponte Vedra would be off the charts mind boggling.

Stay tuned.


  1. Jeff
    You are a real dink. You know Rory didn’t mean what you insinuate. You have his number why didn’t you text him and ask for clarification. You just love to stir it up.

    No more from me.


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