Rory McIlroy says compromise can be reached with LIV Golf if Greg Norman quits

World No 1 talks about Saudi-backed breakaway tour as he prepares for DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

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Rory McIlroy thinks a compromise can be reached between LIV Golf and the established tours, but only if Greg Norman departs as head of the controversial series.

The Northern Irishman is in Dubai as he attempts to finish the season as the European No 1 at this week’s DP World Tour Championship – coincidentally on a course designed by Norman.

His progress to the season-ending event at the Earth Course has been remarkably serene, given how frequently he has had to address the turmoil away from the fairways.

Most recently, Norman, the chief executive and commissioner of the breakaway series, said: “Every PGA Tour player should be thanking LIV, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.”

The Australian cited the increases to the prize money and player impact programme funding on the PGA Tour as reactions to LIV, for which the players should be grateful.

McIlroy countered by saying Woods “is the reason that we are playing for as much as we are,” and that “everyone else in the game should be thankful” to the American great.

“Tiger is the reason the stature of our game is where it is,” McIlroy said.

“The generation of Tiger, and the generation coming after Tiger, have all benefited from him and his achievements and what he's done for the game of golf.

“I don't think Tiger should be thankful to anyone for anything.”

The world No 1 has said the sport can move past the antagonism that has divided it this season, which has seen a number of player suspensions from both the PGA and DP World Tours.

Greg Norman,  chief executive and commissioner of LIV Golf, at the LIV Golf Invitational Miami at Trump National Doral Miami on October 30, 2022. Getty

However, he says it cannot happen before resolutions are found to the legal cases that are ongoing.

He also thinks a change in personnel at the top is necessary to ending the “stalemate”.

“There's a few things that I would like to see on the LIV side that need to happen,” McIlroy said.

“I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left.

“He's made his mark but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you've got this thing off the ground but no one is going to talk unless there's an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.”

McIlroy is not confident of there being an end to the impasse any time soon.

“Right now, I think the separate entities – the PGA Tour, European Tour and LIV – are going to be very different products to [each] other,” McIlroy said.

Quote
I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left.
World No 1 Rory McIlroy

“They are just going to keep going until something happens. Whether that's in the hands of a court or a judge or something else happens along the way, no one really knows. But right now it seems like it's a bit of a stalemate.”

Heading into the season finale, McIlroy leads the Race to Dubai rankings after an extraordinarily consistent season.

Of the nine DP World Tour events he has played to this point, his worst finish was 12th in the season-opening HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship.

Since then, his finishing positions have been third, second, eighth, fifth, third, second, fourth and fourth.

And yet he only holds a slender advantage coming in to the final event. Ryan Fox is just over 100 points behind, following his runner up finish behind Tommy Fleetwood at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa last week.

“He's had an amazing season,” McIlroy said of the New Zealander.

“It's great to see. I don't know him well but he seems like a lovely guy, and I'm looking forward to playing with him on Thursday.”

McIlroy and Fox will be the last match off at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday, when they start at 12.45pm.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 1:01 PM
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