Rory McIlroy has maintained his desire to see golf become a global tour, fearing the game could become fractured forever in its current form.
Speaking ahead of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic where he aims to defend his title and win the championship for the fourth time, McIlroy feels that aligning the different interests of players, sponsors, fans and media is the next logical step in moving golf towards his dream scenario of a world tour.
“There’s a lot of different interests in the game,” stated the 34-year-old. “I think what we need to do first is align interests, align interests of the players and the business and the fans and the media and try to get everyone’s interests aligned. And then once you do that, then you can move forward.
“So it’s the aligning of interests, which is the big key to trying to get to that dream scenario. Golf is at an inflexion point, and if golf doesn’t do it now, I fear that it will never do it and we’ll sort of have this fractured landscape forever.”
Outgoing DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley said yesterday that a global schedule is the way forward to end golf’s civil war and to enhance the growth of the game and McIlroy agrees having mentioned Ireland last week as a possible destination for an elite event in the future.
“I think Keith was saying to you guys yesterday, I think the opportunity here is global, and I think you’d be very naïve to not think that way.
“Especially if you see, you know, even you look at the event at Kapalua a couple of weeks ago, which is supposed to be one of the big signature events and you see the ratings that that did on TV, it’s not — you know, I would say they were quite underwhelming compared to some of the other events.
“I think the opportunity here is global. Look, they are still massive events in America and I think they have huge history and tradition and they need to be kept. But there’s a lot of opportunity elsewhere, and I think with Adam (Scott) being on the board and seeing maybe the bigger picture of things, I think that’s a good thing.”
The voice of the Holywood clubman still carries a ton of weight when with a microphone but he reiterated his desire to stay away from any board matters having resigned from the PGA TOUR policy board last month to prioritise his golf.
“I think I’ve certainly got a little more time to putt into my game I think.
“I’m probably a little unburdened with some of the things that I was going through over the past couple of years. So yeah, to me, I feel like my focus is firmly back on stuff inside the ropes, and that is a really nice feeling.”