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Rory McIlroy appears to be on his way back ... to the PGA Tour policy board. McIlroy left the board in 2023, when he was replaced by Jordan Spieth, but there has been a groundswell of support of late to have him rejoin one of the organization's governing bodies.

Webb Simpson recently voiced support for his seats going to McIlroy; Simpson is a member of the policy board and PGA Tour Enterprises board as a player advisor. Though unable to confirm such a move, McIlroy on Wednesday at the 2024 Zurich Classic did address the rumors as reported by the Guardian.

"I think I can be helpful," said McIlroy while answering a hypothetical question about rejoining the board. "I don't think there's been much progress made in the last eight months, and I was hopeful that there would be. I think I could be helpful to the process ... but only if people want me involved, I guess.

"When Webb and I talked, and he talked about potentially coming off the board, I said, 'Look, if it was something that other people wanted, I would gladly take that seat.' And that was the conversation that we had.

"... That's the whole reason. I feel like I can be helpful. I feel like I care a lot, and I have some pretty good experience and good connections within the game and sort of around the wider sort of ecosystem and everything that's going on. At the end of the day, it's not quite up to me to just come back on the board. There's a process that has to be followed, but I'm willing to do it if that's what people want, I guess."

This would be a meaningful move for all parties.

McIlroy was vocal during his prior tenure on the board, constantly battling threats from LIV Golf while fighting for the existence of the PGA Tour. Last summer, he said he felt like a "sacrificial lamb" when commissioner Jay Monahan appeared to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund that sought to eventually merge interests between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

Then McIlroy suddenly resigned from the board in November.

"I just felt like something had to give," McIlroy said at the time. "I just didn't feel like I could commit the time and the energy into doing that. I don't mind being busy, but I just like being busy doing my own stuff. Something had to give and there's guys that are on that board that are spending a lot more time and a lot more energy on it than I am."

Other current player directors alongside Simpson and Spieth are Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati and Adam Scott. All six are on the PGA Tour policy board and the board of the new for-profit PGA Tour Enterprises, which just received an investment of up to $3 billion from Strategic Sports Group. 

These active players are joined on the PGA Tour Enterprises board by former player Joe Olgivie and six other members, including Monahan, four representatives from SSG and Valero chairman Joe Gorder.

McIlroy has been an interesting voice since resigning from the board last fall. He has spoken often about what world tour might look like, something that would only be possible with a consummation of the Tour's proposed deal with the PIF (in which the fund would ostensibly make a similar investment to SSG and resume a combining of the leagues' interests).

"I think it's all pie-in-the-sky stuff," McIlroy said in February. "I think there has to be a component of the southern hemisphere: Australia, South Africa. There obviously has to be a component of the Far East, whether that be Korea, Japan, China. Obviously the Middle East as well. We've been going to the Middle East for a long time, but obviously Dubai, Saudi, and then sort of working our way from East to West and back into the United States for the sort of spring, summertime. 

"I don't think it will look too dissimilar to what it is right now, but maybe the front end of the year and the back end of the year might look a little different. I don't think we need to blow everything up, but there definitely needs to be some tweaks."

McIlroy, who has voiced that he's OK with LIV players returning to the PGA Tour with no punishment -- for the health of the game overall -- and constantly preached unification, also distanced himself a bit from Spieth and others in February. He left a group chat of other top players, instead holding a discussion with Spieth about the need for the Tour to finalize its deal with the PIF and bring the entire golf world back together. At the time, McIlroy described the conversation with Spieth as "frank." 

Rory also addressed his differences with other board members on Wednesday.

"[I would manage those differences through] compromise but also try to articulate your points as well as you can and try to help people see the benefits of what unification could do for the game and what it could do for this tour in particular," he said. "We obviously realize the game is not unified right now for a reason, and there's still some hard feelings and things that need to be addressed, but I think at this point for the good of the game, we all need to put those feelings aside and all move forward together."