Rory McIlroy after judge rules against LIV players at FedExCup Playoffs: ‘Common sense prevailed’

·3-min read

Rory McIlroy has been perhaps the strongest, loudest opponent to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that McIlroy was happy having seen a judge rule against three LIV players who were trying to join the FedExCup Playoffs at the last minute.

“I mean, from my vantage point, common sense prevailed and I thought it was the right decision,” McIlroy said Wednesday ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis.

“Now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is the golf, and we can all move forward and not sort of have — not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice.”

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman did not grant Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones the temporary restraining order they were seeking in an effort to join the FedExCup Playoffs on Tuesday — something they had been banned from after leaving for the Saudi Arabian-backed league.

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Their restraining order is part of a much larger antitrust lawsuit that the LIV golfers have filed against the PGA Tour.

McIlroy wasn’t the only one asked about the LIV Golf lawsuit. That league has hung over the PGA Tour for months now like a dark cloud, on that resurfaces every time someone new jumps ship — like British Open winner and World No. 2 Cameron Smith reportedly did on Tuesday. Even Scottie Scheffler slammed the lawsuit yesterday, calling it “frustrating” amid his four-win season that catapulted him to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings.

“It's unfortunately just taking up the golf world a little bit and taking away from great storylines,” Justin Thomas said Wednesday. “I think I saw Scottie [Scheffler] came in and did his interview yesterday and I'm sure he got asked about what was going on, and he's had one of the best seasons of all time. I mean, the most money that's ever been earned and winning the FedExCup by a mile and I'm sure there weren't as many questions about that as there should have been.

“It's little things like that to where it takes away from the big picture of what's going on on the PGA Tour … I just want to play golf and stop worrying about it.”

While McIlroy sounds a bit more invested than Thomas is, the betting favorite this week knows the lawsuit and LIV Golf won’t just disappear.

And even though he said once again that he doesn’t blame anyone for wanting to play elsewhere, McIlroy is upset that now some golfers are trying to have it both ways.

“I think where the resentment comes from from the membership of this tour is the fact that they want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences,” McIlroy said, and anyone that's read the PGA Tour handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them … Again, it's like there's such a long way to go. It's like you birdied the first hole, but you've still got 17 holes to go.

“It was a good day for the Tour and for the majority of the membership yesterday.”

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy stands by a judge's move to keep three LIV golfers out of the FedExCup Playoffs. (Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)