Rory McIlroy has described the possibility of a world tour as a “dream scenario” as talks between golf’s main tours to unite the sport continue.
The Framework Agreement between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – who bankroll LIV Golf – the PGA Tour and DP World Tour was announced on June 6, with the initial deadline of December 31 to finalise the deal extended into 2024.
McIlroy resigned from the PGA Tour’s policy board last year and has since admitted he had been “too judgemental” with his views on players who switched to LIV Golf when it launched in 2022, with the former world No 1 having a clear vision on how he would like the sport to look in the future.
“My dream scenario is a world tour, with the proviso that corporate America has to remain a big part of it all,” McIlroy told Golf Digest. “Saudi Arabia, too. That’s just basic economics, but there is an untapped commercial opportunity out there.
“Investors always want to make a return on their money. Revenues at the PGA Tour right now are about $2.3bn. So how do we get that number up to four or six? To me, it is by looking outward.
“They need to think internationally and spread their wings a bit. I’ve been banging that drum for a while. Whether they are rotated on the new global circuit, or we go with the same ones every year, I’m OK with either.”
McIlroy features on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour each year and has won events across worldwide since turning professional in 2007, with the Northern Irishman believing golf is already has the opportunities to create a ‘world tour’
“I think informally, we sort of have most of that global schedule anyway,” McIlroy added in his media duties ahead of the Dubai Invitational. “If you look at all the tournaments that all the top players play, informally, sort of without any structure between a few different tours, I think we have at least the majority of what a global tour would look like.
“We still need to make sure that the biggest tournaments are in America – obviously that’s the biggest place that we play – but also trying to elevate some of the other tournaments around the world.
“Middle East, Continental Europe, UK and Ireland, the Far East, whether it be Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa. I mean, you’ve got a lot of different opportunities there.
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“If everyone is talking about growing the game and trying to, especially if these investors are going to come into our game and want a return on their capital, I think everyone needs to start thinking globally around it but globally in a holistic way.”
McIlroy makes his first start of 2024 at the Dubai Invitational, ahead of his title defence at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic the following week, with the 34-year-old targeting another successful year.
“I’m excited for the year,” McIlroy added. “This is my 18th full season on tour, which is mad to think about. But I’m as excited as I was for the first one. New opportunities, new goals.
“My consistency’s really been there over the last couple years, and without winning one of the big ones, I think that’s the final piece of the puzzle for me.”
Watch the Dubai Invitational throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 7.30am on Sky Sports. Watch McIlroy in action throughout 2024 live on Sky Sports. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more on NOW.