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Rory McIlroy's PGA Tour policy board return reportedly rejected by Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy was hopeful a return to the PGA Tour policy board could assist in a deal between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls the LIV Golf League; Webb Simpson will remain as a PGA Tour player director

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Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir explains why Rory McIlroy will not be returning to the PGA Tour's policy board and the potential impact this could have on the game

Patrick Cantlay was the leading voice behind the decision to block Rory McIlroy’s immediate return to the PGA Tour policy board, Sky Sports News understands.

McIlroy told Sky Sports last month that he was 'happy to do his bit' to try and help ongoing negotiations to unify the men's game, with the former world No 1 offering to return to the role he held until his resignation last November.

The Northern Irishman's return to replace Webb Simpson - who personally sought out McIlroy to be his replacement - was subject to a vote from board members, with McIlroy suggesting ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship that a "subset" of people were unhappy about his possible return.

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Rory McIlroy explains why he will not be rejoining the PGA Tour policy board, admitting it was 'complicated' and 'messy'

"I think it [conversations] got pretty complicated and pretty messy," McIlroy told reporters at Quail Hollow. "I think with the way it happened, I think it opened up some old wounds and scar tissue from things that have happened before."

Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Simpson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods are the PGA Tour player directors on the policy board, with McIlroy admitting that the vote and a possible return was a "complicated process".

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Tiger Woods said in February that exploring pathways back for players who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf were happening on a 'daily basis'

It is understood that Cantlay felt "uncomfortable" that McIlroy would automatically take Simpson's seat rather than going through a formal process, with the former FedExCup champion's view backed up by Spieth and Woods.

The main reason for an impasse in negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the latter's vision to globalise men's professional golf, whereas it is believed many of those on the board are reluctant to play regularly outside the United States.

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Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry celebrated their Zurich Classic of New Orleans victory in style with an impressive rendition of 'Don't Stop Believin!'

What is McIlroy's view?

McIlroy sees globalisation and a move towards a 'World Tour' as an absolute necessity in order to force through a deal between the two parties, with the fear that men's professional golf will otherwise continue to fracture and audiences will dwindle.

"I would say I'm impatient because I think we've got this window of opportunity to get it done," McIlroy added on Wednesday. "Both sides from a business perspective I wouldn't say need to get it done, but it makes sense.

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Rory McIlroy said earlier this year that he hoped to see a framework in golf where at the very top level is a Champions League-style tour

"It's probably not going to feel great for either side, but if it's a place where the game of golf starts to thrive again and we can all get back together, then I think that's ultimately a really good thing."

McIlroy's potential return to the policy board was welcomed by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the PIF, by leading PGA Tour sponsors and by the DP World Tour chief executive Guy Kinnings.

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Rory McIlroy hopes his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will help propel him to more victories this season on the PGA Tour

"It's a really good thing for us to have a European voice, someone as articulate and knowledgeable as Rory back on the board," Kinnings said last month, when his reappointment had been expected.

"I know how much it took out of him originally. This is a guy who'd work until 3am on board meetings and then get up for a pro-am. I think his voice will be really important to make sure we get all the right people to the negotiating table."

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Monahan: McIlroy's perspective "important" to PGA Tour

Simpson explained on Wednesday that the board wanted McIlroy to be "not necessarily in every conversation but in more conversations", while PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan insisted that he still has a key voice in the sport.

In a statement to Golf Channel, Monahan said: "Today's news is in no way a commentary on Rory's important perspective and influence. It's simply a matter of adherence to our governance process by which a PGA Tour player become a board member.

"Webb [Simpson] remaining in his position as a member of the policy board and PGA Tour Enterprises board through the end of his term provides the continuity needed at this important time.

"We are making progress in our negotiations with the PIF and are working as a collective - the players directors, our boards and Tour management - to remain open-minded to all avenues that advance the PGA Tour in the best interests of our players, our partners and our fans."

Watch Rory McIlroy in action at the Wells Fargo Championship and the PGA Championship this month live on Sky Sports. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, majors and more with NOW.

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