BET À DAY
PGA star Rory McIlroy 'still hates LIV' and he 'would like it to go away', but the Northern Irishman said on Wednesday he believed that in the long term the merger between the two circuits would be beneficial for golf.
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“I heard the news about the same time as everyone else”, has explained McIlroy in a press conference on the sidelines of the Canadian Open, which takes place this weekend.
“It was a surprise,” he continued. I knew there were discussions going on backstage. I knew a line of communication was open. But I didn't expect it to happen so quickly.”
Winner of 23 PGA titles and four majors, McIlroy has been one of the strongest defenders on the tour since some golfers started leaving last year to join LIV.
“It's the money that talks”
McIlroy also said he welcomes the union of the two leagues, because it will secure the financial future of golf.
“When I look at the big picture and I think in 10 years , I think it will be good for professional golf. […] We can start to find a way to unify golf.”
The 34-year-old golfer also believes it is better for the PGA to have the Saudi Investment Fund (PIF) on its side, not the “enemy” side. It is this fund that financially supports the LIV with billions and its contribution has been decried since the creation of the circuit, in particular because of the management of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
The PIF will become a major sponsor of the PGA. “At the end of the day, it's the money that talks and it's best to have it as a partner.”
“No one is perfect,” says DeChambeau
Golfer Bryson DeChambeau, who was one of the first to take the plunge with LIV Golf, looked pretty bad during an interview with CNN on Tuesday, especially when it came to Saudi Arabia.
> Bryson DeChambeau
A few hours after the merger between the two professional circuits PGA and LIV, the powerful puncher was invited to speak at greater length on the Saudi context.
During the interview with the American television network, DeChambeau was therefore asked about Saudi Arabia's human rights record. Host Kaitlan Collins asked him if he was “uncomfortable” that the Middle Eastern country was “accused of financing terrorism”.
“No one is perfect”, has he replied.
“Look, it's unfortunate what happened, but it's not something I can talk about, because I'm only a golfer”, he also said.
2,500 families of victims criticize the merger
On Tuesday, a group made up of about 2,500 family members of victims of the attacks September 11, 2001 terrorists released a statement criticizing the merger. The golfer tried to deflect the question.
“I don't think we can ever reimburse the families for exactly what happened just over 20 years ago,” DeChambeau said. What happened is truly horrific. I think over time, 20 years have passed and now we're at a point where it's time to start trying to work to make things better together.”
–With QMI Agency