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BREAKING: Rory McIlroy Resigns From PGA Tour Policy Board

By CM Chaney · November 15, 2023

In brief…

  • Rory McIlroy has resigned from the PGA Tour board after 2 years as first international player rep
  • Comes as PGA Tour tries to finalize deal with Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which McIlroy has criticized
  • McIlroy said he did not enjoy having a seat at the table amid golf's turmoil
  • Resignation also follows McIlroy's criticism of LIV Golf and its Saudi backing
  • Remaining 5 player-directors will elect someone to fill rest of McIlroy's term through 2023
Rory McIlroy has resigned from the PGA Tour board amid the tours partnership talks with Saudi Arabia, marking the end of his two years as the first international player representative.  TourProGolfClubs / Wikimedia

Rory McIlroy has resigned from the PGA Tour’s board of directors, the tour announced Tuesday. McIlroy had served on the board for the past two years as the first international player representative.

“Rory’s insight has been instrumental in helping shape the success of the tour, and his willingness to thoughtfully voice his opinions has been especially impactful,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Given the extraordinary time and effort that Rory - and all of his fellow player directors - have invested in the tour during this unprecedented, transformational period in our history, we certainly understand and respect his decision to step down in order to focus on his game and his family.”

The resignation comes as the PGA Tour is finalizing an agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to create a new commercial enterprise. McIlroy has been an outspoken critic of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf rival league.

“It’s hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I’ve put myself out there and this is what happens,” McIlroy said in June after the PGA Tour announced its partnership with the Saudis.

McIlroy said Tuesday he did not enjoy having a seat at the table.

“Not what I signed for whenever I went on the board. But yeah, the game of professional golf has been in flux for the last two years,” he said.

The deal with the Saudis must be finalized by the end of 2022 but can be extended. McIlroy has constantly criticized LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and younger players for taking “the easy way out” by joining the rival league, which has offered large signing bonuses.

McIlroy also co-founded TMRW Sports with Tiger Woods, parent company of the new TGL golf league starting in January.

The remaining five player-directors on the 12-member PGA Tour board will elect someone to serve the remainder of McIlroy’s term through next year. Players do not receive compensation for serving on the board.