Negotiations for the LIV Golf-PGA Tour proposed alliance included the potential for Rory McIlroy (pictured) and Tiger Woods to own LIV Golf teams and compete in the Saudi-backed league. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
July 13 (UPI) -- PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy would retire before competing for LIV Golf, he told reporters Thursday at the Scottish Open.
McIlroy made his assertion just two days after his potential involvement with the Saudi-backed operation was made public as part of a U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on the proposed LIV Golf-PGA Tour alliance.
Documents submitted to the subcommittee revealed that negotiations included McIlroy and Tiger Woods being offered opportunities to own LIV Golf teams and participate in at least 10 LIV Golf events.
"If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on Earth, I would retire," McIlroy, a longtime critic of the Saudi league, told reporters at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
"That's how I feel about it. I'd play the majors, but I'd be pretty comfortable."
PGA Tour Chief Operating officer Ron Price and board member Jimmy Dunne offered sworn testimony, answering questions from Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the subcommittee, as well as other senators, about the proposed alliance Tuesday in Washington.
They defended the controversial union throughout the 3-hour hearing. The senators cited accusations of Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses. They also questioned the new golf entity's tax compliance and received more information about active negotiations between the parties.
LIV Golf and the PGA Tour announced their decision to unite June 6, potentially ending two years of legal battles, player feuds, suspensions and defections from the longtime U.S.-based golf league to the upstart, Saudi-backed venture.
Dunne said at the hearing that LIV Golf and the Saudi Public Investment Fund -- valued at more than $600 million -- wanted to "destroy the PGA Tour" and could use their "unlimited" finances to "own golf" if the PGA Tour did not try for the merger.
The subcommittee plans to continue its inquiry into the proposed alliance. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, also announced another investigation into the PGA Tour-LIV Golf agreement last month.
The Department of Justice also is investigating the PGA Tour for anti-competitive behavior in connection to LIV Golf.
McIlroy was 6-under through the first round and tied for second place, three strokes behind leader An Byeong-hun. The tournament will continue through Sunday in North Berwick.
President Joe Bide departs to Camp David with first lady Jill Biden on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo