Rory McIlroy has promised a vow of silence on matters attached to LIV Golf, with the Northern Irishman determined to focus fully on his own performance for the remainder of 2023.
McIlroy’s position at the forefront of the PGA Tour’s resistance to the rebel LIV tour has seen him questioned continually regarding off‑course matters. Speaking at Oak Hill, where he hopes to win a third US PGA Championship, he was curt when the likely future of LIV was put to him.
“I don’t have a crystal ball,” he said. He followed up with a firm “no” when asked whether he would care to speculate and an equally direct “yes” over whether sidestepping the LIV storyline was a deliberate effort.
“I would rather people be talking about me for my golf rather than stuff that I am doing behind the scenes or what I have said in a press conference.
“I don’t regret anything that I have done because I think what has been done is really helpful and will help the guys that are on tour right now and help the next generation of players hopefully have a better professional tour to play on and all that sort of stuff. I think the work that has been done has been really good.
“But now that the wheels have been set in motion it is time to focus on me and focus on playing great golf and trying to get back to winning ways.”
McIlroy’s missed cut last month at the Masters came as a shock, including to the man himself. The four-time major winner, 34, had looked in fine spirits before the tournament. His wait to complete what would be a grand slam of major titles goes on.
“I was never so sure that I was going to have a great week at Augusta,” he said. “Never so sure. And then that happens. It was a great lesson. It was a great lesson for me to not put too much into feelings or vibes. I shot five under on the back nine on the Wednesday afternoon and felt great. Everything was in a good spot. I had a chat with [the sports psychologist] Bob Rotella that night and said: ‘I feel so good. Like, how can I not get ahead of myself?’
“But that’s golf. Golf can be an impostor at times and the game can bring you back down to earth pretty quickly. I think the best way to deal with that is to not let yourself get to that level of expectation so early. That’s sort of what I’m trying to do, just trying to take what the golf course gives me and hit good golf shots.
“Just try to have a little more acceptance. If I think back to Augusta, maybe over the last few months as well, my level of acceptance probably hasn’t been where it needs to be. If I work on that, and I do the right things, then I know I’ll start to play some really good golf again pretty quickly.”