Rory McIlroy says competing against LIV Golf players in the upcoming BMW PGA Championship will be “tough for me to bear”.
The Northern Irishman – one of the fiercest critics of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series – reiterated his stance after winning the PGA Tour’s richest prize.
“I hate how it does to the game of golf,” McIlroy said of LIV.
A number of high profile players have left established tours for the £1.6billion LIV Golf series which runs eight invitational events in 2022 with a £200million prize pool before becoming a starting league next year.
Big winners Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson are among those who have joined, and the PGA Tour has responded by banning those players indefinitely.
However, DP World Tour players who joined the fledgling tour will compete in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth after their the suspensions have been temporarily lifted in July.
Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter are among the LIV players set to take part in the DP World Tour’s flagship event from September 8-11.
McIlroy added: “I hate it. Really. It’s going to be tough for me to agree to go to Wentworth in a couple of weeks and see 18 there. It just doesn’t suit me.
“So yeah, I’m convinced. I believe what I’m saying is the right thing and I think when you think what you’re saying is the right thing, you’re happy to crane your neck on the line.”
McIlroy won his third FedEx Cup after a thrilling final-round duel with world number one Scottie Scheffler at East Lake in Atlanta.
Scheffler started the week with a six-shot advantage over the four-time major winner as the players began the season-ending event on staggered scores, determined by their respective FedEx Cup standings positions.
McIlroy also started the final lap six adrift of Winner of the Master Scheffler but carded a four under 66 to beat American and South Korea’s Sungjae Im by a stroke.
“Look, it’s been a tumultuous time for the world of men’s professional golf in particular,” said McIlroy, 33.
“I was right in the middle. I picked a good time to be on the PGA Tour draw.
“But yeah, I’ve been in the thick of the action. I guess every chance I get, I try to defend what I think is the best place to play elite professional golf. in the world.
“It’s in some ways fitting that I was able to do this today to kind of end a year that has been very, very difficult and different.”