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Other SportsMcIlroy wants LIV to follow IPL format

McIlroy wants LIV to follow IPL format

Rory McIlroy would consider playing in a LIV event if it copied the format set out by cricket’s Indian Premier League.

The IPL is the T20 franchise tournament with the greatest global appeal, attracting the best cricketers from around the world every year.

LIV currently has a tour that rivals the PGA Tour, although talks are ongoing regarding a merger that was initially announced in June with a December 31 deadline having recently passed without agreement.

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McIlroy has made no secret of his opposition to Saudi-backed LIV, although he has come to accept it is not going to go away and said he would be willing to play in a LIV event providing it met certain criteria.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, he said: “I would love LIV to turn into the IPL of golf.

“They take two months of the calendar. You go and do this team stuff and [it’s] a bit different and is a different format.

“If they were to do something like that I would say ‘yeah that sounds like fun’ because you are working within the ecosystem.”

LIV continue to throw enormous sums of money at the sport’s top players with Jon Rahm the latest to be enticed by the Saudi riches having agreed a deal worth a reported £450million to leave the PGA Tour.

Rahm’s motive for the move, or so he claimed, was to “grow the game of golf”, but McIlroy thinks the sport would be better served by spending that money elsewhere.

He added: “The thing I have come to realise is if you have got people, or a sovereign wealth fund, wanting to spend money in your sport that is ultimately a good thing.

“But you just want to get them to spend it the right way and spend it on things that are important in the game.

“Instead of giving someone $100m why don’t you put $50m into grassroots programmes for the R&A or USGA? Spending that money to actually grow the game and not just buy talent would be a way better way.”

Northern Irishman McIlroy has been critical of the players that have defected to LIV, although he refused to dig out Rahm, who backtracked spectacularly on previous declarations to make the move at the end of last year.

He said: “Jon is smart and sees things coming together [a merger] at some point.

“He said ‘OK, I will take a lot of upfront money – which is his prerogative – and if things come together I will play LIV for a year, come back on the tour and play team golf on the fringes’.

“It is a smart business move.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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