Rory McIlroy responds to Tiger Woods rift rumours after 'messy' PGA Tour decision

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods' TGL roster is taking shape with three new additions.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods -Credit:Harry How/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has dismissed rumours of a "fall out" with Tiger Woods over the contentious PGA Tour decision, insisting their friendship remains unscathed despite their differing views on golf's future.

The two golfing titans, who share a long-standing friendship, have recently found themselves at odds amidst ongoing negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabian backers of LIV Golf. Previously opposed to LIV, McIlroy has since softened his stance and is now a key figure in efforts to bridge the divide. He has joined the transaction subcommittee tasked with brokering a deal, a move that followed his unsuccessful bid to re-join the PGA Tour's policy board.

This has reportedly put him at loggerheads with Woods, who is said to have voted against McIlroy's return to the board. Reports suggested their relationship had "soured" due to these political manoeuvrings. However, the Northern Irishman conceded that while things "got pretty complicated and pretty messy", he denied any fall out with Woods.

"I would say, I mean, I think friends can have disagreements or not see things I guess not not see eye to eye on things but have disagreements on things," McIlroy stated. "I think that's fine. But no, I wouldn't say we had a really good talk last Friday for 45 minutes, just about a lot of different things. No, there's no strain there. I think we might see the future of golf a little bit differently, but I don't think that should place any strain on a relationship or on a friendship.

McIlroy stated, reflecting on his resignation from the PGA Tour policy board last November due to frustrations with the tour's direction and its toll on his game and personal life. In a recent development, McIlroy agreed to replace Webb Simpson on the board after Simpson's plea, only for the move to be blocked by other members, leaving the world No. 2 without a seat.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland
Rory McIlroy -Credit:Keyur Khamar/Getty Images

McIlroy, speaking at the Wells Fargo Championship, shared: "I'm not on the board, but I'm in some way involved in that transaction committee. I don't have a vote so I don't have I guess a meaningful say in what happens in the future, but at least I feel like I can be helpful on that committee. And that was sort of a compromise for I guess not getting a board seat."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan commented on the situation, affirming McIlroy's influence despite the rejection: "Today's news is in no way a commentary on Rory's important influence," Monahan said. "It's simply a matter of adherence to our governance process by which a tour player becomes a board member."

Adding to this, he stated: "We are making progress in our negotiations with the PIF and are working as a collective the player directors, our boards and tour management to remain open-minded to all avenues that advance the tour in the best interest of our players, our partners and, most importantly, our fans."