Rory McIlroy made no secret of his hatred for the isolated LIV golf organization, and fired a deceptive shot at Greg Norman after winning the Canadian Open.
McIlroy played a glorious eight-under final round to end the week at St. George’s -19, holding Tony Finau (-17) and Justin Thomas (-15).
“It’s incredible, playing with Tony and Jetty today – two of the best players in the world, and we’re all playing the way we did,” he later said.
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“This is a day I will remember for a long, long time.”
But then what he said raised eyebrows.
“Winning the 21st PGA Tour, more than anyone else, has given me a little extra motivation today, and I’m happy to have done it.”
It was a covered reference to the Australian legend who is the CEO of the PGA Tour’s controversial Saudi-backed rival. Norman has won the PGA Tour 20 times in a career where he was the longest-running world No. 1 in the sport.
McIlroy said before the final round that regardless of what happened in Canada, it would be more interesting than the first LIV event, which was originally panned for lack of both format and stack.
Ahead of the final round, McIlroy said, “I’m sure what’s going to happen in the final 18 holes here is going to be more entertaining than the golf that was played elsewhere this week.”
Nonetheless, McIlroy said he does not offend players themselves for taking huge paydays on offer.
“I think my position on this was very clear from the beginning,” he told reporters last week.
“It’s not something I want to participate in. I must understand that the boys are gone. I understand what their life goals and ambitions are.”
Watch as Norman writer boots
Leading champions Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed were recent additions to the isolated tour, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.
“I’m definitely not pushing anyone to go. It’s their life, it’s their decision, they can live the way they want,” McIlroy said.
This is McIlroy’s third PGA win in 13 months, winning the CJ Cup last October and the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2021.
“I think Kovid and after all I just need a complete reset,” he said.
“I redefined myself a bit in the game, somehow realizing what made me happy – and it made me happy.
“I just did the job, I got a great team around me and they are 100 percent behind me and that makes it easier for me to go and work like I do today.”
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