Rory McIlroy at odds with golf rival after 'trust' comment ahead of The Players Championship

Rory McIlroy at odds with golf rival after 'trust' comment ahead of The Players Championship

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 13/03/2024

- 12:54

The world No 2 is happy with the performance of PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan

Rory McIlroy has thrown his full backing behind PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan following criticism from one of his rivals.

Xander Schauffele says he still lacks trust in Monahan amid a potential deal with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund but McIlroy says it is time people moved on.

It was announced last June that negotiations had begun that could see the PGA Tour and DP World Tour unite with the breakaway LIV Golf league.

The announcement did not go down well with many PGA golfers, who were left in the dark by Monahan about the merger.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has thrown his support behind PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan

Sky Sports

Speaking about Monahan last July, Schauffele said: "I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust and he has a lot less of it now. So I don’t stand alone when I say that."

Ahead of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week, Monahan revealed that talks are accelerating to finalise the agreement.

But Schauffele has again outlined his lack of trust in the commissioner, who has been in place since 2017.

Schauffele said: "Yeah, I mean, you know what I've said in the past on how I feel about it.

"Trust is something that's pretty tender, so words are words, and I would say in my book he's got a long way to go.

"He could be the guy, but in my book, he's got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership.

"I'm sure he's got the support of the board, since they were with him making some of those decisions, but for me personally he's got quite a way to go."

McIlroy, who has softened his opinion on LIV Golf in recent months, spoke to the media on Wednesday ahead of this week's unofficial fifth major in Florida.

The Northern Irishman insists Monahan has been a success and the PGA Tour is in a better position since he came into office.

McIlroy said: "I mean, you look at what Jay's done since he took over. The media rights deal, navigating us through Covid, the strategic lines with the DP World Tour.

"I would say creating PGA Tour enterprises - we were just able to accept $1.5billion into the business.

"People can nitpick and they can say 'You didn't do this right and you didn't do that right' but if you actually step back and look at the bigger picture, I think the PGA Tour is in a far stronger position now than it was before Jay took over."


Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele says he still lacks trust in Jay Monahan


McIlroy says some criticism following last June's announcement was justified but now wants the focus to be on golf uniting.

He added: "I think some of the reaction to June 6 was warranted but I think it's eight months ago and we all need to move on.

"We all need to move forward and try to bring the game back together."

Monahan told a press conference this week that he is confident of reaching a positive outcome.

He said: "Our negotiations are accelerating as we spend time together.

Jay Monahan

Jay Monahan says talks are accelerating over a potential deal to unite golf


"While we have several key issues that we still need to work through, we have a shared vision to quiet the noise and unlock golf's worldwide potential.

"It's going to take time, but I reiterate what I said at the Tour Championship in August. I see a positive outcome for the PGA Tour and the sport as a whole.

"Most importantly, I see a positive outcome for our great fans.

"Despite the distractions over the last two years, fans, sponsors and communities continue to value and engage with the PGA Tour and I am more confident than ever in the fundamental strength of our organisation."

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