While Jay Monahan Remains Objective, Rory McIlroy’s Sudden Exit Sends Angst Among PGA Tour Players

Published 11/14/2023, 11:37 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

In a shocking development, Rory McIlroy, the most vocal supporter of the PGA Tour, resigned from the Policy Board as a Player Director. The decision comes just five months after the Tour struck an initial deal with PIF, the Saudi sovereign fund that bankrolls the LIV Golf, and one month before the deadline was set to reach the agreement. Interestingly, McIlroy also had over one year left before his term expired.

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The Northern Irish golfer is the second person to resign from the board in the last four months. In July, Randall Stephenson exited the board, citing serious concerns over the $3B merger agreement. Although McIlroy, the vocal critic of the breakaway league, has yet to make an official statement, the PGA Tour cited personal reasons behind his resignation. Naturally, the unexpected development has sent shockwaves through the golf world, taking even many PGA Tour pros by surprise.

What do we know so far about the shocking Rory McIlroy development?

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PGA Tour sent a memo on Tuesday to its players that reported that McIlroy has exited the board. The Northern Irish golfer served the Tour Policy board for three years when the Tour was meandering through the most challenging times in the golf world. First, there was COVID-19. Then LIV Golf emerged as the main competitor to the PGA Tour in 2022, creating a chaotic one year before both parties thought a truce was a better option than fierce rivalry.

Monahan, commending the achievements of 24-time PGA Tour winner, said in the official statement, “During his tenure, Rory’s insight has been instrumental in helping shape the success of the TOUR, and his willingness to thoughtfully voice his opinion has been especially impactful.” McIlroy has been on the board for more than five years, first serving as a member of the Player Advisory Council, before being elevated to Player Director.

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The official statement cited personal reasons being the sole reason for his exit. McIlroy, aside from being a Tour Policy Board member, had additional responsibilities lining up after the announcement of TGL. The four-time Major winner is not just a player for the Boston Common Golf in the tech-infused league. He, along with his long-time buddy, Tiger Woods, is a co-founder of TMRW Sports, the venture that came up with the futuristic league. 

It is to be noted that the 34-year-old golfer has voiced his concern about the $3B merger deal, calling himself a “sacrificial lamb, earlier. Reportedly, he had no idea of such an agreement hours before it was made public. Naturally, the resignation of a player who has been one of the leading voices for the players has seen ripples across the tournament, with some PGA Tour pros openly voicing their concerns.

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PGA Tour players sound worried

Expectedly, many on the PGA Tour had to say something about the surprising decision. Michael S Kim, the 2018 John Deere Classic Winner was the first. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Kim expressed his sadness over the decision. The 30-year-old golfer wrote, “A bit sad to see Rory resign from the board. I’m sure many board members tried to persuade him otherwise, but it’s definitely a taxing position. Hopefully, someone thoughtful and reasonable will replace him.

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McIlroy’s decision comes just days after a PGAT spokesperson gave some hint of a thaw between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. As per the spokesperson, the Tour will allow its players to line up at the LIV Golf Promotions event. Monahan, however, has yet to make any official statement about that.

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Currently, Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods, Charley Hoffman, Peter Malnati, and Webb Simpson, are the remaining five player directors on the board. As per the rule, the player directors are set to elect a successor to McIlroy.

Watch This Story | Amid Recent Penalty Humiliation, A Potential $25 Million PGA Tour Investment Gets Brutally Squandered 

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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Parnab is a budding golf writer at Essentially Sports. He is keen on constantly exploring his deep-rooted love for golf through his long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, he brings a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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