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Rory McIlroy reveals what ‘pissed me off’ most with LIV Golf and it’s surprisingly not morality

Joining the Subpar podcast, McIlroy deep dives into what frustrated him the most about LIV Golf and how it fractured professional golf.

Rory McIlroy, LIV Golf Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy joined Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz, the hosts of’s Subpar podcast, following the Tour Championship. He discussed many things, including the Ryder Cup, his major championship drought, and the LIV Golf deal.

The Northern Irishman has been at the forefront of the conversation since LIV Golf began in 2021. Stoltz asked him if he would go back and change anything.

“I hate that LIV fractured the game so much. That’s the thing for me that really pissed me off,” McIlroy said. “Hopefully, we can all get back together and make the professional game a bit more harmonious so that we can all compete against each other more often instead of the four times a year at the major championships.”

The four-time major winner wants to play with the best in the world, including some of the guys who left the PGA Tour.

“All I’ve ever really wanted to do is get all the best players in the world together to play more often. I think that’s what golf needs.

He mentioned players like Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau as guys he misses battling against.

“Like that sucks,” McIlroy said. “It builds up majors and makes them even more important than they already were. I feel like golf is in a really bad spot if the game’s only relevant four times a year. It needs to be more relevant than that. If that means getting us all back together and playing against one another more often, I’m all for that.”

123rd U.S. Open Championship, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The former No. 1 player wants golf to be less divided.

However, there was no mention of the various concerns that are usually brought up regarding Saudi Arabia and sportswashing. He didn’t mention the human rights issues Saudi Arabia has been accused of as something that bothers him.

That’s not to say that he isn’t bothered. But it was interesting to hear his biggest gripe was solely golf related. Considering how outspoken he had been since LIV Golf’s inception, it was a logical conclusion that he would be irked by the off-the-course part of it.

Nevertheless, his mind remains on the growth of the sport.

“If it can be done the right way, and everyone can sort of get together again and make the game less fractured, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing,” McIlroy said.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.