Many PGA Tour players remain at the second stage of grief regarding the bombshell PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger: anger.
But Rory McIlroy — one of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan’s staunchest allies — has moved straight to the final stage of acceptance.
McIlroy, the current No. 3 men’s golfer in the world, said Wednesday at the Canadian Open in Toronto that he’s resigned to the massive wealth and power of Saudi Arabia that has fundamentally transformed the men’s game.
“I’ve made my peace with it. I’ve seen what’s happened in other sports and businesses,” said McIlroy, who is attempting to defend his tournament title there and described himself as a “sacrificial lamb” in his first comments on the deal.
“I’ve just resigned myself to the fact this is going to happen. How do you keep up with people who have more money than anyone else?”
McIlroy’s stance differs from many other PGA Tour players, who remain upset with Monahan for various reasons. Players berated him at a meeting late Tuesday, characterizing the merger as a complete reversal of the Tour’s prior opposition to the Saudis’ involvement in golf — one informed by the latter’s notorious human rights record.
“I recognize everything I’ve said in the past,” Monahan said. “I recognize people will call me a hypocrite. Anytime I’ve said something, I’ve said it with the information I’ve had.”