April 3, 2024

Four PGA Tour stars accused of ‘failing’ Rory McIlroy over LIV Golf | Golf | Sport

Four top golfers have been criticised for not supporting Rory McIlroy in his stance against LIV Golf. NBC and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee has accused Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele of failing to back their fellow PGA Tour star. 

The PGA and LIV are currently in serious talks about merging, following a surprise announcement last summer that left many of the sport’s biggest stars in the dark. McIlroy has always defended the PGA Tour during the rise of LIV Golf, with many of his competitors joining the new Saudi-backed league for big money.

However, McIlroy decided to step down from the PGA Tour advisory board after stating that a merger with LIV was “not what I signed for whenever I went on the board”. Although McIlroy had previously expressed his dislike for LIV Golf, he has since softened his stance on the Saudi-backed league.

Chamblee believes that McIlroy was let down by four big names who stayed in the PGA Tour with him, specifically Spieth, Thomas, Scheffler and Schauffele. 

Speaking to Golfweek, the Golf Channel analyst said: “I felt like Rory didn’t get the support that he needed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that players were selfish.

“But I felt like Rory was out there and was a force against the source of the money for LIV, and he was a formidable source for the PGA Tour, and he didn’t get the support from any of the players.

“I didn’t hear Jordan Spieth being vocal in support of him. I didn’t hear Justin Thomas. I didn’t hear Scottie Scheffler. I didn’t hear Xander Schauffele. I didn’t hear any of them as forcefully as Rory was speaking out on the issue.

“It was like he was taking most of the heat if not all of the heat, and I think after a while, I don’t know it to be the case, I haven’t talked to Rory, but I think after a while, it was listen, I’ve done everything I can do and I’m not getting any support, so I’m going to bow out. Why is it up to me to fight this whole battle myself?

“I would have loved to see more players come out and speak on behalf of the PGA Tour or just the traditions of the game and the foundation of the game and talk about how where the game has gone over the last couple years has been bad for professional golf. It’s been great for them from a financial standpoint, but they’re alienating the biggest stakeholder in the game of golf, which is the core fan.”

While there has been a lot of unrest off the course, McIlroy and his fellow PGA Tour players are preparing for a reunion with some of LIV Golf’s biggest names. 13 players from the rebel series are qualified for The Masters, which kicks off at Augusta on April 11. 


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