The back-and-forth between members of the PGA Tour and golfers who chose to join LIV Golf has been steady over the past several months as the world of golf has been heavily impacted by the start-up league.
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy has been one of the more outspoken critics of LIV, harshly criticizing the new invitational in the media.
But even McIlroy knows that the schism isn’t good for the sport.
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“This ‘us vs. them’ thing has gotten way out of control already. If the two entities keep doubling down in both directions, it is only going to become irreparable,” McIlroy told The Guardian. “We are going to have a fractured sport for a long time. That is no good for anyone.”
The split has heavily impacted McIlroy’s relationships, with four of McIlroy’s former Ryder Cup teammates – Sergio García, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter – joining LIV Golf.
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“It’s a weird thing,” McIlroy says. “I think it is the first time in my life that I have felt betrayal, in a way. It’s an unfamiliar feeling to me. You build bonds with these people through Ryder Cups and other things. Them knowing that what they are about to do is going to jeopardize them from being a part of that ever again?
“I would like to think the Ryder Cup means as much to them as it does to me,” McIlroy continued. “Maybe it does. But knowing what the consequences could be, I just could never make that decision. OK, it might not be 100% certain but that it could be the outcome? It just isn’t a move I would be willing to make. I thought they felt the same way.”
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LIV golfers were not allowed to compete at the President’s Cup in September, and it’s still not clear if they’ll be allowed to play at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
In September, McIlroy said he had no relationship with past Ryder Cup teammates who have joined the Saudi-backed tour.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve got much of a relationship with them at the minute,” McIlroy said in September. “But if you’re just talking about the Ryder Cup, like, that’s not the future of the Ryder Cup team.”
McIlroy is once again the No. 1 player in the world after winning the CJ Cup over the weekend.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.