Two Influential Golfers Explain Their Opposition to McIlroy's Return to the Board

“He was very clear that it was too much for him. He had business dealings."

by Sead Dedovic
Two Influential Golfers Explain Their Opposition to McIlroy's Return to the Board
© Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy's potential return to the PGA Tour Policy Board is still a current topic. The Northern Irishman spoke two days ago about the rumors of his return, emphasizing that despite his desire to come back, he feels unwelcome by some individuals. 

Immediately, the question arose: Who are these individuals? 

This great golfer is one of the influential figures on the golf scene, and his relationships with colleagues have seemingly been good so far. However, his evolving views have sparked skepticism from some of his peers.

McIlroy is a golfer whose views do not align with those of some of his PGA Tour colleagues, who believe that reaching an agreement with PIF (LIV Golf) isn't the best idea. McIlroy's statement that LIV Golfers are welcome on the PGA Tour has certainly further strained relations between Rory and some of the golfers.

This great golfer has previously had the opportunity to be part of the PGA Tour Policy Board, but dissatisfied with his game and a few other things, he decided to resign. 

One of the former members of the PGA Tour Policy Board, Kevin Streelman, openly spoke about opposing McIlroy's return to the PGA Tour. As the main argument, Streelman believes that McIlroy has already had his chance and decided to leave the Board after some time. 

Streelman stresses that the PGA Tour Policy Board members must be people willing to help the PGA Tour and their colleagues. Returning again, Streelman believes, is not a good decision.

“He was very clear that it was too much for him. He had business dealings, he has a kid, he wants to focus on his game. Trust me, I get it. But once you quit, you’re not getting back. 

I wouldn’t quit on something that you were elected to by your peers. To want back in is peculiar.”-Streelman told Golfweek!

Kevin Streelman
Kevin Streelman© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images Sport

The truthfulness of Rory's statement about not being welcomed by his colleagues is supported by the statement of former player director, James Hahn. He believes that McIlroy's return is not in line with democratic principles. Hahn considers Rory McIlroy a well-known name in the world of golf, and that both Webb Simpson and Rory are exploiting that fact. James considers that the situation would be quite different if someone else were to replace Simpson.

“That’s just not how democracy works. It goes against all the principles of what make a Tour-run organization,” Hahn said.

“Imagine if instead of Rory, Webb said he wanted Nate Lashley, who has been vocal against some of the Tour policy decisions, or named me to replace him. There would be an absolute uproar. People would be saying, ‘You can’t do that.’

James Hahn
James Hahn© Raj Mehta/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy's role

However, Rory McIlroy will participate in the negotiations between PIF and the PGA Tour, but in a completely different role. Namely, this 34-year-old golfer will be part of the PGA Tour Enterprises' Transaction Subcommittee, alongside Woods and Scott. Although he won't participate in the voting, he will likely have a huge influence on the negotiations between PIF and the PGA Tour. Today, Northern Irishman spoke to the media about his statement that he wasn't welcomed by some of his colleagues.

McIlroy explained that he doesn't perceive it as a lack of desire for his involvement from others. Instead, he sees it as more of a question regarding the process of being involved again.

Rory has reiterated multiple times his willingness for the PGA Tour to collaborate with LIV Golf, aware of the importance it would have for the future of golf. He understands that certain viewpoints he once held need to evolve, primarily for the betterment of the sport and its overall atmosphere. Playing separately is not what Rory envisioned when he began his career. This is one of the reasons why he is prepared for his voice to be important in the entire process, potentially key in reaching an agreement.

Although the Northern Irishman will not be part of the PGA Tour Policy Board as originally expected, he intends to be helpful in the committee and help this deal finally be finalized.

The future of golf will be in the hands of key figures from the golf scene. Fans, tired of the ongoing events for the past two years, are demanding a swift resolution to this situation, aiming to see the best individuals at a single tournament. At the moment, golfers are divided between two tours, which diminishes the quality of both tours.

Most LIV Golfers also believe that a deal with the PGA Tour is the best solution at this time and the best option for the future.