Nick Faldo says Rory McIlroy can thrive now golf’s future has become clearer and does not expect LIV to survive new deal between tours

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf announced a historic partnership at the beginning of this month; Sir Nick Faldo, who is hosting this week’s Betfred British Masters, believes world No 3 Rory McIlroy can be the chief beneficiary of the proposed new partnership

Last Updated: 28/06/23 2:21pm


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Sir Nick Faldo says he thought LIV Golf would just fade away and believes there was no atmosphere or proper competition in their events

Sir Nick Faldo says he thought LIV Golf would just fade away and believes there was no atmosphere or proper competition in their events

Sir Nick Faldo believes Rory McIlroy can be the key beneficiary of the current state of flux within golf.

The Northern Irishman finished second in the US Open earlier this month and is currently ranked third in the world, behind world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and the Spaniard Jon Rahm.

After the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf announced a historic partnership at the beginning of June, it seems that the chaos which enveloped the top end of the sport may finally be headed towards a conclusion.

Faldo believes McIlroy can thrive following the shock agreement being struck – and reckons his runner-up finish in the US Open shows how well he’s playing.

“We criticise him for finishing second,” said Faldo. “He’s playing beautifully so if he can just get those wedges a smidgen closer, that changes everything.

“Putting under pressure, to putting for birdie, is a huge difference. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s seriously inspired at Hoylake. That’s where he won last time (the 2014 Open).

“There is scar tissue from nine years without a major and not too many players have come back from a long gap and then go on to reboot your career and win more, but I’m sure he would just love to be able to bowl up, go and practice and play with minimal off-course work and interference.

“You need that when you’re trying to play your best. You’ve got to have that all day long.”

Andrew Coltart explains how he would feel if he was in Rory McIlroy's position after news emerged of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

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Andrew Coltart explains how he would feel if he was in Rory McIlroy’s position after news emerged of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

Andrew Coltart explains how he would feel if he was in Rory McIlroy’s position after news emerged of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

McIlroy admitted he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” when the proposed deal was announced, the four-time major winner having emerged as the public face of the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV.

The following week, he cancelled his pre-tournament press conference ahead of the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club, where he finished second to Wyndham Clark to extend his major championship drought.

“I’m pretty sure Rory’s suffered from being constantly asked, being a spokesman (for the PGA Tour),” Faldo said. “You want a clear head when you go and play golf, you want to be able to concentrate.

“I’d rather be playing well and fending off questions about why I finished second than why I finished 152nd. If you finish second, it’s stewards’ inquiry and a dissection but he’s there, he’s playing that well every week.”

Faldo: LIV will not survive | Mickelson: We have confidence in LIV

Earlier this month, the PGA Tour announced it was creating a new commercial entity with the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls the breakaway circuit.

The deal is subject to judicial scrutiny in the United States and details remain thin on the ground, but the “framework agreement” does state that LIV’s future will be determined by the new entity, whose board will be controlled by a PGA Tour majority.

Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir explains the implications of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

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Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir explains the implications of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir explains the implications of the partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

Asked ahead of the British Masters if LIV can survive, tournament host and six-time major winner Faldo said: “I don’t think so, because nobody’s really interested.

“They’re not going to get the sponsorship that they want. They call it a team (event) and it’s not because it’s strokeplay.

“You see your mates on the putting green and say ‘play well’ and you see them in the scorers tent and say ‘What did you shoot?’ That’s it. A team is out there helping, shoulder to shoulder. That’s a true team.

“You have the ultimate team event, the Ryder Cup, you know the passion and the atmosphere of that. They’re not playing with the same passion and atmosphere as the Ryder Cup.

“It’s only half a dozen (players) that are really current, half of the field I don’t really know and half the field are there for the very nice last-placed money that you still get if you shoot 20 over.”

Phil Mickelson in action at the US Masters earlier this year

Phil Mickelson in action at the US Masters earlier this year

Unsurprisingly, LIV player and HyFlyers team captain Phil Mickelson has a different view and believes everything that the rebels were promised by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is coming to pass.

“I think that right now we have basically an agreement to have an agreement and everything over the last couple of years that we’ve been told by Greg and everybody on LIV has come to fruition, so we have a lot of confidence in what they have been saying to us because everything has been happening,” Mickelson said, ahead of the LIV event in Valderrama.

Asked if he felt vindicated by developments, Mickelson added: “I would say I felt appreciation that we got to this point where we’re working together because it makes me confident with where the game of golf is headed in the future.

“We felt like it was going to be about two years roughly before we got to that point. It took a year and a half, or six months quicker than I thought it would be.”

Watch live coverage of both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour on Sky Sports from Thursday with the Betfred British Masters from 1pm and the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic from 6.30pm, both live on Sky Sports Golf.



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