Rory Mcilroy picked up his 21st career PGA Tour victory at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday in Toronto. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo
June 13 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy used the winner's stage at the RBC Canadian Open to take a verbal shot at LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after a week of tension between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded breakaway league.
McIlroy carded 19-under par to claim the title Sunday at St. George's Golf Course in Toronto. The win gave him 21 career victories on the PGA Tour, one more than Norman totaled in his Hall of Fame golf tenure.
"This is my 21st PGA Tour win -- one more than someone else and that gave me a little bit of extra incentive," McIlroy told CBS in an on-course interview. "I'm happy to get it done."
McIlroy, the No. 3 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, edged No. 15 Tony Finau by two strokes. No. 5 Justin Thomas finished third at 15-under par. McIlroy claimed $1.56 million for his win.
"I had [the] extra motivation of what's going on across the pond," McIlroy told reporters Sunday at a news conference. "The guy [Norman] that's spearheading that tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour. 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."
On Saturday, No. 125 Charl Schwartzel beat No. 134 Hennie Du Plessis by one stroke to capture the LIV Golf Invitational London title and a first-place prize of $4 million.
The large prize purse -- and lucrative appearance fees -- are among the reasons several top golfers recently defected to the rival competition. Controversy surrounds LIV Golf due to Saudi Arabia's record of human rights violations.
Golfers' decisions to play with LIV Golf resulted in a series of suspensions issued last week by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. No. 16 Dustin Johnson, No. 33 Kevin Na and No. 77 Phil Mickelson were among the 17 golfers banned from PGA Tour events for their participation in LIV Golf.
"It's been an unfortunate week that was created by some unfortunate decisions, those decisions being players choosing to violate our tournament regulations," Monahan said Sunday on the CBS broadcast.
"It's my job to protect, defend and celebrate our loyal PGA Tour members, our partners and our fans. And that's exactly what I did.
"I don't think it was a surprise to anybody, given how clear I had been about how we were going to handle this situation."
The 2022 U.S. Open is the next event on the golf schedule. The major tournament announced Tuesday that those who participated in LIV Golf London will be allowed to play this week in Brookline, Mass. The U.S. Open will run Thursday through Sunday at The Country Club.
The rival tour will continue with LIV Golf Invitational Portland June 30 to July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Nort Plains, Ore.
The PGA Tour schedule will resume with the Travelers Championship June 23 through 26 in Cromwell, Conn. The John Deere Classic will run from June 30 though July 3 in Silvis, Ill.
South African Charl Schwartzel lifts the inaugural LIV trophy at the Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead, England, on June 11, 2022. Schwartzel won $4 million for winning the event. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo