There perhaps hasn’t been a stronger critic of the LIV Golf Invitational Series on the PGA Tour than Rory McIlroy.
After picking up his second consecutive win at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, McIlroy couldn’t help but take another shot at the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed golf league.
“Twenty-first PGA Tour win, one more than someone else,” McIlroy said on CBS. “That gave me a little extra incentive today. Really happy to get that done.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 12, 2022
That not-so-subtle comment referenced LIV Golf CEO and Hall of Famer Greg Norman, who won 20 times in his career on the PGA Tour. Norman is leading the new venture, which kicked off this weekend in London. McIlroy has 21 Tour wins in his career, including two this year. He has four major championship wins; Norman had two.
Justin Thomas, who finished in third in Toronto, joined in on Twitter on Sunday night, too.
What a week. That’s why we play, and that’s why we play on the @PGATOUR. Got to battle against one of the best today and got out dueled, but not without a fight. Congrats to @McIlroyRory on his 21st (😉) win and an amazing finish. Can’t wait for @usopengolf!
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) June 12, 2022
McIlroy has ripped the LIV Golf series at seemingly every turn. The new league drew plenty of backlash and controversy throughout its opening weekend.
The fiancee of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s called for LIV golfers to be banned from major championships for “supporting murderers,” and a group of families and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks wrote letters to several golfers in the new venture criticizing them for their involvement.
The PGA Tour suspended Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and others who defected to the LIV Golf series. Commissioner Jay Monahan defended that decision on Sunday afternoon. Though he called it an “unfortunate week” for the sport, Monahan noted a clear difference between the two leagues.
“I would ask any player that has left or any player that would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?” Monahan asked.
McIlroy continued his criticism of Norman after posting his 8-under 62 to grab the two-shot win in Toronto. McIlroy, who is No. 4 in the FedExCup standings and entered the week ranked No. 8 in the world, opened his news conference with a jab, and then admitted how much being tied with Norman did for him in the final round.
Champ’s here. Opens his press conference with, “…and one more than Norman” pic.twitter.com/6fCzRYWkMK
— Adam Stanley (@adam_stanley) June 12, 2022
“Look, I alluded to it. I had extra motivation of what's going on across the pond,” McIlroy said. “The guy that's spearheading that Tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour and I was tied with him and I wanted to get one ahead of him. And I did.
"So that was really cool for me, just a little sense of pride on that one.”