Rory McIlroy has resigned from his position as a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board, creating a big gap in player leadership at a time when the future of the PGA Tour is very much in flux.
As first reported by Monday Q Info's Ryan French, McIlroy resigned from the board, while PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan notified McIlroy's peers via email on Tuesday night.
In full, the letter reads:
I wanted to inform you that Rory McIlroy has resigned frmo the PGA Tour Policy Board. Rory's resignation letter, which he sent to the full Board late this afternoon, clearly stated that the difficult decision was made due to professional and personal commitments.
I hope you will join me in thanking Rory for his dedication and commitment to the Tour -- first as a three-year member (2019-21) of the Player Advisory Council, including as PAC Chairman in 2021, and the last two years (2022-23) as a Player Director on the Policy Board. During his tenure, Rory's insight has been instrumental in helping shape the success of the Tour, and his willingness to thoughtfully voice his opinions has been especially impactful.
Given the extraordinary time and effort that Rory -- and all of his fellow Player Directors -- have invested in the Tour during this unprecedented, transformational period in our history, we certainly understand and respect his decision to step down in order to focus on his game and his family.
Per the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, whenever the office of any Player Director becomes vacant due to resignation, the remaining Player Directors elect a successor to serve his unexpired term. Rory's term expires at the end of 2024.
Please reach out to Jason Gore or a member of his team if you have any questions.
In an email sent to pga tour members Rory has resigned from the players advisory Board. pic.twitter.com/e8lLEMCsXZ
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) November 15, 2023
McIlroy has been the most public and ardent defender of the PGA Tour in its clash with LIV Golf. He also was clearly stunned by the negotiated Framework Agreement, made in secret between the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and announced on June 6, 2023. He has indicated that he would welcome Public Investment Fund investment in the existing golf infrastructure, including in player-participation programs headed by the game's governing bodies, instead of using it to develop LIV Golf and further disrupt professional golf.
However, McIlroy has also made no secret of the toll that his public and private efforts have taken on his personal and professional life. He has repeatedly said how fully immersive this experience has been, and it's come at the detriment, in his view, to his commitment to golf. Nevertheless, McIlroy has arguably never been more consistent as a player. Nevertheless, McIlroy will have gone almost 10 years without adding to his tally of four major championships. He also is co-owner and co-founder, along with Tiger Woods and former Golf Channel head Mike McCarley, of the TGL golf league, which kicks off in January and is in the process of a large-scale rollout.
McIlroy has also made no secret of his dislike for fellow Policy Board member Patrick Cantlay, who remains part of a player-controlled board -- thanks to Woods' appointment to the board by Monahan this summer in response to player discontent -- that is negotiating with the Saudis and other interested investors to figure out the future of the Tour and its potential for-profit subsidiary, PGA Tour Enterprises (NewCo). With negotiations with the Saudis seemingly at an impasse, McIlroy has said publicly he hopes the PIF will be part of the new investment group.
While what happens from here will not directly involve McIlroy, there's no doubt his influence through this period will have ramifications for the Tour and its business model for decades.