Rory McIlroy: LIV Golf defectors cannot 'have their cake and eat it' on eligibility

By Sports Desk July 05, 2022

Rory McIlroy believes players who have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series should not be "having their cake and eating it" by being eligible to compete on other tours.

On Monday, Ian Poulter was informed he could play at this week's Scottish Open after an appeal against his ban was upheld, despite the DP World Tour barring him from playing.

Poulter was also one of several high-profile players to have been indefinitely suspended by the PGA Tour by signing up with LIV Golf.

One of the more vocal supporters of the PGA Tour, McIlroy insisted players should have to live with the consequences of choices to earn more money if they do sign with the breakaway competition.

"I think at this stage, if you go over and play on a different tour, then go over and play on a different tour," he said.

"You're sort of basically leaving all your peers behind to go make more money, which is fine. But just go over there. Don't try and come back and play over here again.

"This whole having your cake and eating it type thing is what the resentment [stems from] within the membership."

McIlroy's comments follow Branden Grace taking out LIV Golf Portland last weekend, with Billy Horschel also saving harsh criticism in the lead up to the Scottish Open, which will be an important preparation for the Open Championship.

Fronted by former world number one Greg Norman, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is the majority shareholder of LIV Golf Investments, allowing for substantially larger prize money and an eased schedule.

Horschel, who won the Memorial Tournament in June, believes it is hypocritical of defectors to cite a lighter schedule and then play on multiple tours.

"They shouldn’t be coming back over here to play the DP World Tour or the PGA Tour, he said. "To say that they wanted to also support this tour or the DP or PGA Tour going forward, while playing the LIV Tour, is completely asinine in my opinion.

"To play the PGA Tour, you’ve got to play 15 events and their [LIV] schedule is eight events, [planned to be] 14. So to say they are going to play 29 events a year and still hold membership on the PGA Tour is ridiculous. They decided to go play on a tour and they should go play that tour.

"The last week’s events I’ve been really frustrated by because there are a lot of guys who are hypocrites that are not telling the truth and lying about some things."

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    Luke Donald unsurprisingly kept faith with his history-making foursomes pairings as Europe looked to extend their lead on day two of the Ryder Cup.

    After enjoying an unprecedented clean sweep of the opening session, the home side also staged three dramatic comebacks in the afternoon fourballs to ensure the United States failed to win a match in a day’s play for the first time.

    The resulting five-point lead equalled the largest in the contest’s history, a margin most recently achieved at Oakland Hills in 2004, when US captain Hal Sutton disastrously paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson twice on day one.

    Donald’s only change was to send Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood out first, against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, with Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton switched to match four against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

    Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg remained in match two against world number one Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, with Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka taking on Max Homa and Open champion Brian Harman.

    United States captain Zach Johnson had kept two foursomes pairs together despite the opening whitewash, although his hand had no doubt been forced by an illness spreading through the team.

    “There’s been some unforeseen things that we’ve had to navigate around, which is really unfortunate, in the sense of health,” Johnson said.

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  • Ryder Cup day two: Europe aim to build on record-equalling start Ryder Cup day two: Europe aim to build on record-equalling start

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    After enjoying an unprecedented clean sweep of the opening session, the home side also staged three dramatic comebacks in the afternoon fourballs to ensure the United States failed to win a single match in a day for the first time.

    “Unbelievable start, historic day, but we want it to be an historic week so the job is certainly not done,” Donald said.

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    Justin Rose then also birdied the last to ensure the five-point advantage and match Europe’s lead at Oakland Hills in 2004, when US captain Hal Sutton disastrously paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson twice on the opening day.

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    The United States failed to win a single match as Europe equalled the biggest day-one lead in the modern format of the Ryder Cup.

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    Europe’s previous 4-0 sessions came after a 2-2 share of the Friday morning in 1987 and overturned 3-1 deficits on the other two occasions.

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    The 1999 contest in Brookline is chiefly noted for the controversy on the final day, with Justin Leonard’s long putt at the 17th sparking wild American celebrations even as Europe’s Jose Maria Olazabal still had a putt for a half to keep the match alive.

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