Rory McIlroy has called for a truce between PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the LIV Golf series to prevent the sport from becoming divisive.
The four-time major winner said the two Tours and the Saudi-funded league need to talk out things to prevent “splitting the game”.
Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson, and Dustin Johnson are among a number of top golfers who have jumped ship to the lucrative series, which brought suspensions and fines from the U.S. and European tours.
Ian Poulter took the DP World Tour to court recently and won the right to participate in the upcoming Scottish Open.
McIlroy has been one of the most vocal critics of the LIV Series while throwing his support behind the PGA tour but said that time has come to find common ground.
That needs to happen,” McIlroy told BBC Sport when asked whether peace talks should take place. “I wish it hadn’t got that messy … In hindsight, there were probably steps that were missed that wouldn’t have made it as messy.
“Everyone has to pivot and change and try to be better and hopefully get to that stage but … all the narrative isn’t good. It’s splitting the game instead of everyone coming together.”
The most contentious part of the breakaway series is that the $255 million league is being bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which critics say is a vehicle for the country to improve its image in the face of criticism of its human rights record.
But the Irishman reminded everyone that the increased prize money on offer on the Ladies European Tour is also thanks to sponsorship from the Saudi state-owned energy giant Aramco, which is also a global partner of Formula One
“There’s so much chat about where the money is coming from, Saudi and everything else. They sponsor so many other things. They are all over sport,” he said.
“I understand people’s reservations with things but at the same time, if these people are serious about investing billions of dollars into golf, I think ultimately that’s a good thing but it has to be done the right way.”