Rory McIlroy has called on Greg Norman to step down as the boss of LIV Golf for the good of the game.
The world No1 said the time had come for an “adult in the room” in a bid to broker peace talks between LIV and both the PGA and DP World Tours.
McIlroy has been outspoken against the breakaway series from the outset and, ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, which gets under way on Thursday, he singled out Norman for special criticism.
“Greg needs to go, he needs to exit stage left,” said McIlroy. “He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to say you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one’s going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.”
Battle lines have been drawn in golf since the launch of the breakaway series and its poaching of a series of high-profile players, most recently Open champion Cameron Smith.
And McIlroy scoffed at the chance that peace might be brokered between the warring factions at the end of the season.
“There are obviously two lawsuits going on at the minute,” he added. “There’s the PGA Tour versus LIV and there’s obviously this one that’s coming up with the DP World Tour in February. Nothing can happen if those two things are going on. Right now, it is a bit of a stalemate.”
Norman said recently that the likes of McIlroy should be thankful to LIV for the rise in prize money that has occurred on both the PGA and DP World Tours in response to the breakaway series.
But McIlroy hit back, saying, “As with anything that Greg says and that comment, it depends what you’re looking for out of golf. Am I thankful that it’s provided more opportunities for the top players to earn more? Yes.
“But ultimately will that make me happier at the end of my career? No. There’s a lot of things that people play golf for and do their jobs for, and it’s not just about money. It’s about other things. It’s about fulfilment. It’s about trying to get the best out of yourself. It’s about the satisfaction of turning up and trying to play to your potential.”