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Rory McIlroy draws a comparison between the great divide in the golf world and the peace process in Northern Ireland in the 1990s

RORY McILROY believes that healing the rift between the golfing establishment and the LIV Tour rebels is almost the sporting equivalent of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Ulsterman McIlroy is keen to try and broker a deal between golf’s warring factions despite criticism from American stars Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth.

Northern Irish leaders Gerry Adams, John Hume and David Trimble met US President Bill Clinton at the White House in 2000Credit: AFP
McIlroy in action during the Pro Am event at Quail Hollow Country Club, North Carolina on May 9Credit: Getty

Although McIlroy has been one of the leading critics of the Saudi-backed LIV and its deserters, he has recently taken a more positive stance.

But he drew parallels with the problems the North faced as peace emerged after the Troubles in the 1990s, and admitted a pact will not be easy.

McIlroy said: “We have this opportunity to do it.

“I wouldn’t say that both parties should get it done, but it makes sense.

“I compare it a bit to when Northern Ireland went through the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

“Neither party was happy. Catholics weren’t happy, Protestants weren’t happy, but it brought peace.

“That was in 1998. Now my generation knows no different and we have never known anything other than peace.

“It’s my little way of thinking about it and showing both sides that there could be a compromise here.”

Most read in the Irish Sun

However, McIlroy will not return to the PGA Tour policy council to avoid reopening “old wounds”.

The Holywood man had been suggested as a replacement for Webb Simpson but admitted a “subgroup” of PGA Tour members were against his return.

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He added: “It got quite complicated and quite messy.

‘The way it happened has opened up some old wounds and scar tissue from things that have happened before.

“There was a segment of people on the board who perhaps didn’t like me coming back for one reason or another.

“The best course of action is for Webb to stay and serve out his term.

“He feels comfortable with that and I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”