McIlroy lauds court ruling against LIV golfers: 'Common sense prevailed'
Rory McIlroy was pleased to see a federal judge in California rule that a trio of LIV Golf players won't be allowed to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
"From my vantage point, common sense prevailed, and I thought it was the right decision," McIlroy told reporters, including ESPN's Mark Schlabach, on Wednesday. "Now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is golf. We can all move forward and not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice."
On Tuesday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman reached the decision preventing Talor Gooch, Matt Jones, and Hudson Swafford from taking part in the PGA TOUR's postseason. The three golfers - who've been suspended by the TOUR for joining LIV - were seeking a temporary restraining order, which the judge denied.
Freeman said she didn't believe the trio faced irreparable harm by missing out due to the money they were guaranteed upon joining the Saudi-backed rival league.
McIlroy thinks it would've been unjust for those players to have it both ways.
"Guys are going to make their own decisions that they feel is best for them, and that's totally fine," the 33-year-old said. "Again, I don't begrudge anyone for going over to play LIV or taking guaranteed money. If that's your prerogative and what you want to do, totally fine.
"I think where the resentment comes from, from the membership of this tour, is the fact that they want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences, and anyone that's read the PGA TOUR handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them."
Justin Thomas echoed that sentiment and added that his frustration with the situation began when 11 players, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA TOUR last week.
"It was personal to me from the beginning," Thomas said. "It's kind of like I said from the start. Those guys were given an opportunity to go play and just go play. You can have your cake, but you don't need to eat it, too. And they got their fair share of a large, large amount of cake, and go eat it on your own means. You don't need to bring it onto our tour."
Cameron Smith - who's ranked No. 2 in the world after winning the Open Championship last month - is reportedly jumping ship to LIV with a deal worth at least $100 million. LIV has already held three events in England, Oregon, and New Jersey, respectively. The Greg Norman-led venture's next tournament will take place at The International in Boston from Sept. 2-4.
The 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs will run from Aug. 11-28. It will consist of three tournaments beginning with the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, which starts Thursday. That will be followed by the BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware, and the TOUR Championship in Atlanta.