PGA Tour’s merger with LIV Golf ‘broke Rory McIlroy’s heart’, claims Alan Shipnuck, who blasts he likes of Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka because they ‘want money and fame but don’t want the scrutiny’
Rory McIlroy’s heart was broken by the PGA Tour’s shock merger with LIV Golf, claims award-winning journalist Alan Shipnuck.
Ahead of the release of his latest book, ‘LIV and Let Die,’ which details the ugly fallout from golf’s bitter civil war between the PGA Tour and the Saudi breakaway, Shipnuck branded McIlroy an idealist before hitting out at other players who have already complained about his upcoming release.
Shipnuck, who previously worked Sports Illustrated and Golf magazine before launching his Fire Pit Collective website, delved deeper into the Northern Irishman’s outspoken support of the PGA Tour in the fight against LIV Golf – and ultimate betrayal – ahead of the book’s release.
McIlroy had been the most outspoken PGA Tour loyalist and, therefore, one of the most blindsided by the tour’s U-turn decision to merge with LIV Golf’s Saudi backer, PIF, in June.
Shipnuck claims the shock merger taught Europe’s Ryder Cup hero a lesson about the real world, while revealing that McIlroy’s strong stance left his fellow professionals divided.
Rory McIlroy’s heart reportedly was broken by the PGA Tour’s shock merger with LIV Golf
There is a great divide on how Rory is viewed. I respect Rory because he was willing to say out loud what a lot of people were thinking and he showed a lot of courage and conviction. Unfortunately for Rory, he is also an idealist and he thought he was fighting for something larger than himself.
‘Then the money guys came in — Jimmy Dunne and Ed Herlihy [PGA Tour directors] — and they completely sold him out and kind of broke his heart. Rory learnt a hard lesson about the real world. Idealism only goes so far and money always wins.
‘Jimmy Dunne is a friend and adviser to Rory going back a long way. He got Rory’s dad into Seminole Golf Club, one of the inner sanctums of golf — Gerry McIlroy was a former bartender and that does not fit the normal Seminole member profile. That was all Jimmy Dunne and yet it was also Jimmy Dunne, in secret, who cold-bloodedly crushed Rory’s hopes and dreams with this [framework] deal.’
McIlroy’s fate was made even more heartbreaking by the reported barbs from his fellow professionals.
Shipnuck claimed that an anonymous Ryder Cup player said: ‘F*** Rory. I’m so sick of hearing how he’s some kind of hero who is saving golf. He’s bought and paid for like everybody else. It’s just his money is coming from the other side.
‘Rory’s fighting so hard for the [PGA] Tour because he wants to preserve his income streams, not because he cares about the Tour itself. That he is being held up as some sort o