Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy unexpectedly resigned as a player director on the PGA Tour’s policy board on Tuesday.
McIlroy, a four-time major champion who is the No. 2 golfer in the world, was set to serve in the position until 2024 after joining last year.
But he announced his resignation in a letter to the entire board, stating that “professional and personal commitments” caused him to step down.
“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,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo sent to players.
McIlroy’s decision came one day after the board met to mull over alternate investment options since the Tour has yet to finalize a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which finances LIV Golf.
As one of the golfers who is against a merger with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, McIlroy had stepped into a leadership role after the Tour’s decision on June 6 to create a framework agreement that would establish a partnership between the two sides.
After the news of a potential partnership, McIlroy voiced his frustration during a news conference on June 7 at the RBC Canadian Open. He was informed of the Tour’s plan to buddy up with Saudi Arabia’s PIF just hours before Monahan made an official announcement.
“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 at the news conference on June 7.
Then on Tuesday, McIlroy told reporters that he wasn’t pleased with his position on the board.
“Not what I signed for whenever I went on the board,” McIlroy said ahead of this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. “But yeah, the game of professional golf has been in flux for the last two years.
Again, the overall game I think is in really good shape. But everyone focuses on this top level because it is what it is, and it’s an entertainment product and it’s a show, but the faster that it gets rectified, I think the better for everyone.”
Per tournament regulations of the PGA Tour, the other player directors still on the board must elect a golfer to serve out the rest of McIlroy’s term.
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