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Rory McIlroy admits PGA Tour equity “never enough” as players flood to LIV Golf

Rory McIlroy admits PGA Tour equity “never enough” as players flood to LIV Golf

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour and Strategic Sports Group made a deal worth up to $3 billion. Reports suggest that part of that money will be given to PGA Tour players as equity payments for their loyalty.

Some of the projected share numbers were released on Wednesday ahead of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Tiger Woods will reportedly receive upwards of $100 million, and Rory McIlroy will receive the second most, at $50 million.

With that information, McIlroy was asked for his thoughts.

“I think the one thing we’ve learned in golf over the last two years is there’s never enough,” McIlroy said Wednesday.

The PGA Tour will never be able to compete with LIV Golf and their seemingly endless amounts of money.

Nearly two-thirds of the infused money will be distributed through equity shares. A number of factors determined how much players would receive in shares.

Among the factors are ‘career points’ and how golfers have finished in the Player Impact Program (PIF). Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas will allegedly receive $30 million each.

It seems McIlroy comprehends that no matter what kind of money is given out, there will still be guys tempted to leave for LIV Golf.

Earlier this month, a rumor suggested McIlroy was taking an $850 million deal to leave for LIV Golf. The four-time major winner quickly suppressed that allegation and said he would remain on the PGA Tour for the rest of his career.

Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

This week, reports surfaced that McIlroy may also return to the PGA Tour Policy Board.

“I don’t think there’s been much progress made in the last eight months, and I was hopeful that there would be,” McIlroy said. “I think I could be helpful to the process, but only if people want me involved.”

Webb Simpson’s resignation from his position sparked this chain of events. Under the circumstances, McIlroy would replace him.

The Northern Irishman expressed his interest in the seat if other people wanted him to take it.

“I feel like I can be helpful. I feel like I care a lot, and I have some pretty good experience and good connections within the game and sort of around the wider sort of ecosystem and everything that’s going on,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not up to me to come back on the board. There’s a process that has to be followed.”

Nothing has been finalized regarding McIlroy’s return, but there will be a vote to determine whether he will replace Simpson.

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 33-year-old has not always seen eye-to-eye with the LIV Golf players, but after he resigned from the board in 2023, a number of his opinions on the matter shifted. McIlroy has publicly voiced numerous times how the divide is hurting the sport. He feels unification is the only way forward for golf.

“We obviously realize the game is not unified right now for a reason, and there’s still some hard feelings and things that need to be addressed, but I think at this point, for the good of the game, we all need to put those feelings aside and all move forward together,” McIlroy said.

The PGA Tour has made multiple changes to its schedule in the last eight months and has gotten sponsors to add money where they could. Although more money is involved in professional golf than ever before, fewer people are watching.

Television ratings are down, and golf feels even more divided.

The end of April is quickly approaching, and there appears to be no movement on the PGA Tour’s deal with PIF. Their deadline for an agreement was initially set for the end of December, but they pushed it back to April. However, now all movement seems to have stalled.

With just over 40 days until the year mark of the June 6 announcement, will the PGA Tour and PIF find a way to make a deal and bring golf back together?

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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