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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Guardian sport

Rory McIlroy denies reports he will join LIV Golf for $850m

Rory McIlroy: ‘I’ve never been offered a number from LIV'
Rory McIlroy: ‘I’ve never been offered a number from LIV’. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Rory McIlroy has brushed aside reports he is considering a move to LIV Golf, and insists he is committed to playing on the PGA Tour.

The world No 2 has been a vocal critic of the Saudi-backed series but City AM this week reported he is considering a move to LIV worth $850m that would also give him a 2% equity in the tour.

On Tuesday, McIlroy denied the reports. “I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy told Golf Channel. “I’ve never been offered a number from LIV. I’ve never contemplated going to LIV.”

McIlroy had been highly critical of players who choose to join LIV but has since softened his stance. Jon Rahm is the highest-profile player to join LIV recently, agreeing a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars in December. There has also been speculation that world No 6 Viktor Hovland will be the next prominent player to join LIV. Hovland is one of a number of players who are unhappy with the handling of a framework agreement reached last summer between existing tours and the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

“Again, I’ve made it clear over the last two years that I don’t think [LIV] is something for me,” McIlroy said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t mean that I judge people that have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I’ve realised over the past two years is people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves. Who are we to judge them for that?

“But personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour and it’s never been any different … I will play on the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”

Earlier on Tuesday, McIlroy’s agent, Sean O’Flaherty, told the Irish Independent that reports of his client’s possible move to LIV were “fake news”.

McIlroy finished in a tie for 22nd place at last week’s Masters.

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