Truth about Rory McIlroy as £685m deal to join LIV Golf said to be ‘close’ | Golf | Sport

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Truth about Rory McIlroy as £685m deal to join LIV Golf said to be ‘close’ | Golf | Sport

There have been new claims Rory McIlroy is closing in on a sensational £685million move to LIV Golf. The 34-year-old, fresh from finishing tied for 22nd in what proved another disappointing Masters tournament, is said to have been offered a mega-money deal that, were he to sign, would make him the most expensive signing yet on the Saudi breakaway tour.

According to CITY AM, two sources have claimed that the deal is close to being completed. Were it to materialise, it would represent a staggering U-turn on the part of the world No.2, who has been a vociferous critic of LIV ever since it officially formed in 2022.

However, Sky Sports Golf reporter Jamie Weir, a journalist notably close to McIlroy, has branded the speculation “complete nonsense”. Neither the Northern Irishman, or any members of his team, have commented on the story as of yet.

Previous rumours of a move were ignited on Thursday at Augusta when McIlroy’s round was followed by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who made his own way to the tournament having not been invited by organisers. Later asked if he was aware the Australian had watched him closely, McIlroy said: « I did not. Didn’t see him. »

McIlroy famously branded the LIV concept « dead in the water already » after a number of top stars initially declined offers. However, since its inaugural tournament in June 2022 at the Centurion Club in St Albans, a number of leading players from the PGA Tour have opted to swich over.

And in December, McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm became their most significant capture yet, signing on a deal worth £300m over three years. That development appeared to soften McIlroy’s stance, with him arguing that LIV players needed to be permitted to play in golf’s most famous team tournament, contrasting his previous views.

But golf fans have now voiced their fears over the subsequent impact that any McIlroy U-turn would have on golf’s status quo. @bavedikian wrote: « If the rumors about Rory McIlroy joining LIV for $850 million are true, it is over for the PGA Tour. »

@lukebellus added: « I can’t stress this enough. If Rory McIlroy leaves for LIV it’ll change the landscape of men’s professional golf forever », while @BrooksPeck echoed the sentiments of many, writing: « If Rory McIlroy joins LIV my faith in the sport of golf will be lost. »

Last June, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour and came to an agreement with LIV Golf to essentially merge and create a schedule that suited all parties. However, that notion is yet to officially materialise, with the Saudi venture, which uses a three-day shotgun start format, thus far continuing to run as a separate entity.

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