Rory McIlroy is stepping down from the PGA Tour’s board.
McIlroy, who quickly became the face of the Tour amid its fight against LIV Golf and its Saudi Arabian backers in recent years, officially resigned from the Tour’s board on Tuesday night.
“Given the extraordinary time and effort that Rory — and all of his fellow player directors — have invested in the tour during this unprecedented, transformational period in our history, we certainly understand and respect his decision to step down in order to focus on his game and his family,” Commissioner Jay Monahan and Edward D. Herlihy, the board’s chairman, said in a statement, via The New York Times.
“[McIlroy was] instrumental in helping shape the success of the Tour, and his willingness to thoughtfully voice his opinions has been especially impactful.”
McIlroy cited “personal and professional commitments” as the reason for his resignation. He said this week in Dubai that it was “not what I signed [up] for when I went on the board,” and that it was taking much more time than he anticipated.
McIlroy’s resignation came one day after the board met at Tour headquarters in Florida. Monahan said in a memo on Tuesday that it was still working on negotiations with investors and LIV Golf for their partnership — something that is still not finalized months after the surprise announcement of such a deal between the two leagues and the DP World Tour. The deal is under investigation by the United States Justice Department and the U.S. Congress, too.
McIlroy was one of the strongest opponents of LIV Golf even before the controversial startup first launched. He’s said that doing so has taken a toll on him, and he was very open about how angry he was when he was caught off guard by the partnership announcement earlier this summer. He said that he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” for the Tour.
He was asked about the status of the deal on Monday in Dubai, and said that talks were progressing.
“I think if you were in the middle of it, you would see that there’s a path forward,” McIlroy said, via NBC Sports. “It’s just that no one on the outside has any details, right? Loose lips sink ships, so we are trying to keep it tight and within walls. I’m sure when there’s news to tell, it will be told.”
McIlroy has won 24 times on Tour, including twice last season at The CJ Cup and the Genesis Scottish Open. He hasn’t won a major championship in a decade now, however, but finished in second at the U.S. Open and in the top ten at both the PGA Championship and British Open. He also won the DP World Tour’s season-long title for the fifth time in his career earlier this week, and is ranked No. 2 in the world. McIlroy has launched a new indoor golf league with Tiger Woods that is set to launch next year.
McIlroy’s term on the board was set to expire at the end of 2024. Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Charley Hoffman, Peter Malnati and Webb Simpson are the remaining player members on the board. They will now elect another player to fill McIlroy’s spot on the board through the end of his term.