Rory McIlroy responds to Gooch's comments

The controversy continues in golf regarding the emergence of the LIV, the Saudi circuit that is competing with the PGA

by Andrea Gussoni
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Rory McIlroy responds to Gooch's comments
© Vivien Killilea / Getty Images Sport

The controversy continues in golf regarding the emergence of the LIV, the Saudi circuit that is competing with the PGA. The latest chapter of the saga came this Wednesday when Rory McIlroy said he wanted to give Talor Gooch, an LIV player, "the benefit of the doubt" regarding comments he made saying that if the world's number 2 wins the Masters to complete his career Grand Slam, the achievement should come with an asterisk because some players who have signed with LIV, funded by Saudi Arabia, cannot play at Augusta National as they have fallen outside the top 50 in the world rankings.

Rory McIlroy, statements

"The Masters is an invitation tournament, and they will invite whoever they believe deserves an invitation," said McIlroy, who will play in the Cognizant Classic starting this Thursday at PGA National, the venue formerly known as the Honda Classic.

"I think to be fair to Talor, if you read the whole question and then the answer, it's not like he just came out with that. I think whoever interviewed him kind of led him into saying that, so I give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.

He just kind of agreed with what the interviewer asked him," the numer two of the ranking added. Gooch said in Australia, "if Rory McIlroy goes and completes his Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there's just going to be an asterisk.

That's the reality. I think everybody wins whenever the majors manage to get the best players in the world together." McIlroy, a three-time FedExCup champion, will play in the Masters for the sixteenth consecutive year. He lost a four-shot lead in the final round in 2011, played in the final group with winner Patrick Reed in 2018, and his best result was runner-up in 2022, three shots behind Scottie Scheffler. Gooch has played the Masters twice.

Rory Mcilroy Pga
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