Rory McIlroy has been one of the PGA Tour’s biggest defenders against LIV Golf, but following some time off after a rough performance at Augusta National, the four-time major champion is taking a different approach.
That approach seemingly includes less of a focus on the rival Saudi-backed circuit.
While speaking to reporters Tuesday ahead of the PGA Championship in Rochester, New York, McIlroy gave detailed answers across a wide range of topics, even touching on Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
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But at the mention of LIV Golf, as it nears its one-year anniversary, McIlroy offered little.
“I don’t have a crystal ball,” McIlroy replied when asked where he thought the rival league would be in three years.
When asked if he wanted to “speculate” he simply said, “No.”
Later when asked by another reporter if he was going to make a “conscious” effort to “sidestep” the PGA Tour vs. LIV narrative, McIlroy responded, “Yeah.”
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His attempt to refocus on his game comes after a rough start to the year.
McIlroy previously skipped the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua at the start of 2023, but after failing to make the cut at the Masters, he withdrew from the RBC Heritage as well.
Missing two designated events resulted in McIlroy forfeiting $3 million of his $12 million in PIP earnings.
“I’ve always thought I’ve had a good handle on the perspective on things and sort of where golf fits within my life, and trying to find purpose outside of golf in some way,” McIlroy said of his break ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month.
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“But I think over the last 12 months, I sort of lost sight of that. I’d lost sight of the fact that there’s more to life than the golf world and this little silly squabble that’s going on between tours, and all sorts of stuff.”
McIlroy has been No. 1 in the world for 82 weeks and has won 18 tournaments worldwide since he last won a major in the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla. Oak Hill is his next chance to end 31 majors without winning one.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.