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Tuesday May 21, 2024

$850M LIV move is ‘fake news’: McIlroy’s agent

By Reuters
April 17, 2024
Northern Irish professional golfer Rory McIlroy. — AFP/File
Northern Irish professional golfer Rory McIlroy. — AFP/File

DUBLIN: The agent for Rory McIlroy dismissed rumors of a pending move to LIV Golf for $850 million. “Fake news. Zero truth,” Sean O’Flaherty told the Irish Independent in an email on Tuesday.

O’Flaherty was responding to a report published in the London financial paper City AM. “Two separate sources have told City AM that they believe a deal is close,” the paper reported Monday. “It is claimed that LIV Golf chiefs have offered world No. 2 McIlroy an eye-watering $850m to join, plus around two percent equity in the competition.” McIlroy, 34, has been one of the most prominent critics of the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit since it launched in 2021. In June 2023, McIlroy described himself as the PGA Tour’s “sacrificial lamb” when it announced a partnership with LIV Golf.

In December, LIV Golf lured Spaniard Jon Rahm into its ranks with a deal worth a reported $400 million to $600 million. In February, McIlroy’s former agent fueled speculation that the Northern Irishman possibly was softening his stance toward LIV Golf.

“If you were being cynical, you might say he’s going to sign for about 750 million (pounds) in a month’s time with LIV because he’s paving the way that LIV’s OK now, whereas it wasn’t,” Chubby Chandler said, according to the Irish Independent.

“He doesn’t need 750 million (pounds) but it’s odd what he’s done and I’m sure it’s a possibility. If he does it or not, I don’t know, but if Rahm can do it, most guys can do it.” McIlroy is coming off a T22 at The Masters on Sunday, where he finished 15 strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler. The four-time major champion has not won a Grand Slam event since the 2014 PGA Championship.