After his opening round at the DP World Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy added more context to his shocking decision to resign as a player director on the PGA Tour policy board.
The Tour announced McIlroy’s departure Tuesday evening, just a day after the board met to further discuss the future investment options for the Tour. The Tour is in the midst of negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, with the Dec. 31 deadline looming, as well as outside companies who are bidding to invest in the new for-profit enterprise.
McIlroy cited personal and professional commitments in making his decision to leave the board.
After an opening 71 at the European tour’s season finale, which left him four shots off the lead, McIlroy elaborated on his decision.
“I just think I’ve got a lot going on in my life between my golf game, my family and my growing investment portfolio, my involvement in TGL,” McIlroy said Thursday. “I just felt like something had to give. I just didn’t feel like I could commit the time and the energy into doing that.”
McIlroy joined the board in 2022, just as the Tour was beginning its battle with LIV Golf. McIlroy has been arguably the Tour’s most vocal proponent, but he was caught off guard and angered by the Tour’s secretive deal with the Saudis that was announced in early June. Speaking to reporters the next day, he said he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” in the ongoing saga, and over the next few months he often declined to discuss the agreement.
The remaining player directors on the board – Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Charley Hoffman and Peter Malnati – will select a replacement for McIlroy, with the term running through the end of 2024.
“I don’t mind being busy, but I like being busy doing my own stuff,” McIlroy said. “Something had to give, and there’s guys that are on that board that are spending a lot more time and a lot more energy on it than I am. It’s in good hands, and I felt like it was the right time to step off.”
McIlroy is making his final start of the year in Dubai, where he has already wrapped up the tour’s Race to Dubai title for the fifth time. TGL, the tech-infused golf league that McIlroy started with Woods, is expected to begin in early January. McIlroy will make his first Tour start in early February at Pebble Beach.