banned | 

Rory McIlroy reacts to bold move from the LIV rebels as punishment is revealed

Rory McIlroy said that the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was simply acting within the rules by suspending all the LIV Golf Tour rebels for playing without releases. Photo: Getty Images

Rory McIlroy said that the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was simply acting within the rules by suspending all the LIV Golf Tour rebels for playing without releases. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy reckons PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has “done the right thing” by suspending all the LIV Golf Tour rebels for playing without releases.

While Graeme McDowell has joined the likes of Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood in resigning his PGA Tour membership, he won’t be allowed to play in any PGA Tour-sanctioned events.

“I think at this point, Jay’s been pretty transparent in terms of he’s just going to act within the tournament regulations and the rules that are set for a PGA Tour member,” McIlroy said after putting brilliantly to open his RBC Canadian Open defence with a four-under 66. “All he’s doing is basically going by the book. I think the majority of the membership that are here and that haven’t gone and played elsewhere really appreciate that.

“So I think he’s done the right thing because these guys have broken rules and done things outside of the tournament regulations, and because of that, there are going to be consequences.”

The Co Down man found just five fairways at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto but still made six birdies and over 100-feet of putts in a 23-putt round.

He was tied fourth, three shots behind Wyndham Clark, whose bogey-free, seven-under 63 gave him a one-shot lead over an impressive Matt Fitzpatrick and two from Doug Ghim.

“Yeah, really solid start,” McIlroy said. “A 66 around here is a good score. I felt like the course was there to go even lower just from the rain and how receptive it was... I maybe didn’t put it in the fairway quite as much as I wanted to today, so that makes it tricky on some holes. But overall, just a really good day.”

Shane Lowry was inside the top 10 after a three-under 67 that might have been two better but for three-putts at the first (his 11th) and sixth.

The Offaly man missed just two fairways and only three greens, which bodes well for next week’s US Open at the Country Club at Brookline.

At the DP World Tour’s Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed 2022, Jonathan Caldwell began his title defence with a one-under 71 to share 57th place with Olivia Mehaffey, six shots behind a quartet of leaders.

In Spain, Kinsale’s John Murphy enjoyed a happy return to Girona for the Empordà Challenge, coming home in four-under 31 for a two-under 68 that left him tied 17th, two behind Spanish duo Alejandro del Rey and Manuel Elvira and Finland’s Matia Honkala.

Paul Dunne was 63 after dropping late shots in a 71 with Conor Purcell and Paul McBride 85 after 72s and Ruaidhri McGee 146 after a 76.

Meanwhile, Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh hopes to use her experience from last year’s Curtis Cup defeat to beat the USA at Merion.

“I learned a lot from it,” the Wake Forest star said. “As for this course, it’s all about staying below the pin this week if we want to take it home.”

Canadian Open, Live, Sky Sports, 5.0pm

Scandinavian Mixed, Live, Sky Sports, 12.0pm


Today's Headlines

More Golf

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices