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Rory McIlroy pledges loyalty to PGA Tour, shuts door on LIV Golf rumours he created

After causing a stir by suggesting he could follow some of the biggest names in the sport and make the switch to LIV Golf, Rory McIlroy has seemingly shut the door on a PGA Tour exit once again.

In this era of divided loyalties and a fractured global game, McIlroy was long seen as one of the few immovable objects in the PGA Tour's arsenal - a fierce loyalist who would never contemplate jumping ship to the upstart Saudi-backed tour even as many of his major rivals and Ryder Cup teammates jumped ship.

But all that seemed to change last week when the Northern Irishman dropped a potential bombshell by suggesting there is a chance he could leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf.

McIlroy took a strident position against the big-money Saudi venture, which tempted a host of top names with lavish paydays and disrupted the established order of the PGA and European Tours.

But the world number two – who even claimed last summer that he would "rather retire" than become a LIV rebel – has softened his stance in recent months as Europe Ryder Cup team-mates Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton have made the switch from the PGA Tour.

Chandler put a potential switch at 10 per cent and, asked at a pre-tournament press conference whether he would put a percentage on him joining LIV Golf, McIlroy replied: "Somewhere in the middle maybe. Who knows?

"I think he's writing a book, so there is that. I spoke to Chubby, I might have seen him in the Middle East at the start of the year.

"Never know. He might know a few things. Who knows?"

However, McIlroy insisted in an interview with ESPN on Thursday that he has no plans to abandon PGA Tour, as the history of the game means to much to him.

"It's not for me, I am too much of a traditionalist," McIlroy said. "I love winning golf tournaments and looking at the trophy and seeing Sam Sneyd won this trophy, or Ben Hogan, or Gene Sarazen, or Jack Nicklaus, or Gary Player, or Tiger Woods, or Nick Faldo, or whoever it is. The people that came before me. That to me is a big deal in our game."

McIlroy remains adamant, however, that the best players in the world need to play together more often. At present that only happens in the majors, but with LIV golfers still not being awarded world rankings points, even that could soon fall by the wayside.

"If we were to all put our heads together and be like 'What can we all do to come back together and move forward and be a little more cohesive', then I would sort of be for that'," McIlroy said.

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