Rory McIlroy was slated to speak to the media at Los Angeles Country Club on Tuesday at 9 a.m. PT, but now it appears as though the 2011 U.S. Open champion’s name has been removed from the pre-tournament press conference schedule.
Collin Morikawa is currently listed as the first player to speak on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. PT.
McIlroy’s apparent decision to forgo media obligations comes in the wake of the stunning announcement of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour’s proposed partnership with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the entity which backs LIV Golf.
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McIlroy has been incredibly outspoken about his loyalty to the PGA Tour and his fervent disdain for LIV Golf, serving as the de facto spokesperson throughout the constant back-and-forth between the competing tours. But the Northern Irishman had almost no advance notice of the deal, along with the rest of the PGA Tour membership.
Last week, McIlroy spoke about the shocking announcement at the RBC Canadian Open, but he was candid in saying that he did not enjoy it whatsoever.
“The most uncomfortable I felt in the last 12 months was my press conference (Wednesday),” McIlroy said.
“At the end of the day, this is business and my job is playing golf at the end of the day. So the more I can focus on that and the birdies and the bogeys instead of the stuff that’s happened in the boardroom, I’ll be much happier,” he continued.
McIlroy also noted that he and his playing partner, Justin Rose, agreed not to discuss the deal as they played the opening round of the Canadian Open last week, where he ultimately finished T9.
“Rosie and I said, ‘all right, no chatting until lunch so that we can actually concentrate on what we’re doing out there,’” he said.
It is quite possible that other players follow in McIlroy’s footsteps and decline questions about off-course dealings at LACC.