Rory McIlroy cops to being 'judgmental' toward LIV defectors

LOS ANGELES: Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy admitted to being a "little judgmental" toward the early players who defected from the PGA Tour to join the renegade golf circuit LIV golf.

McIlroy made the comments in the "Stick to Football" podcast on Tuesday.

McIlroy morphed into a role as unofficial spokesperson for the PGA Tour in the early days of LIV, blasting golfers who jumped ship for "betrayal" and accusing them of "tearing the game apart."

"I think, at this point, I was maybe a little judgmental of the guys who went to LIV Golf at the start, and I think it was a bit of a mistake on my part because I now realize that not everyone is in my position or in Tiger Woods' position," McIlroy said on the podcast.

"We all turn professional to make a living playing the sports that we do, and I think that's what I realized over the last two years. I can't judge people for making that decision," he added.

McIlroy does, however, take umbrage with players who jumped and were "talking crap" about the PGA Tour on the way out.

"I don't begrudge anyone for going and taking the money and doing something different, but don't try to burn the place down on your way out," he said.

McIlroy found himself hung out to dry when the PGA Tour announced a framework deal to merge with LIV in June. He subsequently stepped down from the PGA Tour's policy board in November.

"I wouldn't say I've lost the fight against LIV, but I've just accepted the fact that this is part of our sport now," McIlroy said. "Competition is good to help improve the sport of golf overall, but the PGA Tour competing with LIV and the Saudis' money is completely unsustainable." --Reuters

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