Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy spoke to the media after their nine holes at the Pro-AM at TPC Southwind on Wednesday morning.
Thomas and McIlroy are two of the biggest faces of the PGA Tour, so their news conferences couldn’t have been more timely after Tuesday’s LIV Golf-PGA Tour court decision. Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled in favor of the Tour over the three LIV Golf players who wanted to participate at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis.
“It was a good day for the tour and majority of the membership yesterday,” McIlroy said.
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McIlroy is a member of the PGA Tour board. He was once offered a deal by PGL like the LIV Golf players, he said Wednesday morning. Thomas mentioned how the recent LIV-PGA Tour conflict is taking away from Scottie Scheffler’s incredible season in which he’s spent most of it as the No. 1 player.
Five takeaways from Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy:
Thomas on rumors of Cameron Smith, others leaving for LIV Golf:
“Nothing is official until it’s official. You hear so many names, so many rumors, so many things thrown around. That’s probably been the most annoying part to me.”
Thomas on watching PGA Tour-LIV lawsuit:
“It was just something to where I had zero impact, little control of the outcome. I wasn’t really worried about it. I have pretty good faith that when it gets to the level like that with lawyers and judges involved, that decision is going to be made that’s appropriate.”
McIlroy on being spokesperson for PGA Tour:
“I don’t feel like it’s my job to be up here and stick up for the Tour or be a spokesperson. It’s just sort of the role I find myself in, especially coming on the PGA Tour board this year. It was a great time to agree to do that. I feel when I then dip myself inside the ropes, no one can get to me and it’s really nice. So it’s actually made the golf part of it way more enjoyable.”
McIlroy on players leaving for LIV Golf:
“Guys are going to make their own decisions that they feel is best for them, and that’s totally fine. I don’t grudge anyone for going over to play LIV or taking guaranteed money. If that’s your prerogative and what you want to do, totally fine.”
McIlroy on uneasiness of LIV Golf situation:
“I think where the resentment comes from with members of this Tour is the fact that they (golfers participating in LIV Golf) want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences. Anyone that’s read the PGA Tour handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them.”