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Rory McIlroy made an unexpected resignation from the PGA Tour board on Tuesday, a move coinciding with ongoing efforts to establish a new venture involving Saudi Arabia's national wealth fund. Despite not disclosing his decision earlier at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, McIlroy's remark about his tenure on the board hinted at his dissatisfaction, stating, “Not particularly, no. Not what I signed for whenever I went on the board. But yeah, the game of professional golf has been in flux for the last two years.”
Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion, has been a vocal critic of professional golf’s growing ties with Saudi Arabia
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and board chairman Ed Herlihy expressed gratitude for McIlroy's five years of service, acknowledging his contributions during tumultuous times. McIlroy served on the Player Advisory Council for two years, chaired the PAC for one, and spent the last two years as the first international player on the board. Monahan and Herlihy recognized McIlroy's role in shaping the tour's success and his impactful voice.
The New York Times initially reported McIlroy's resignation, which comes amid the PGA Tour's negotiations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and private equity firms for a new commercial entity. The tour aims to finalize this agreement by the year-end, with the possibility of an extension. McIlroy has been a vocal critic of the PIF's support for rival league LIV Golf, openly condemning players who opted for "taking the easy way out."
Despite his strong stance against the Saudi-backed league, McIlroy was unaware of Monahan's secret negotiations with the PIF in May. This revelation left him feeling like a "sacrificial lamb." However, McIlroy had previously expressed a willingness to work with the PIF if it benefited the game of golf. Players, including McIlroy, don't receive fees for serving on the board.
As the remaining five player-directors on the 12-member board prepare to elect a successor for McIlroy, who served through next year, the golfer remains focused on his game and family. McIlroy, engaged in TMRW Sports with Tiger Woods, is also part of the tech-infused TGL golf league starting in January. Despite his involvement in various ventures, McIlroy has clinched his fifth season title on the European tour, emphasizing that he is playing some of his best golf as he seeks to end a major-winning drought spanning a decade.
DP World Tour | February 13, 2024
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