The Associated Press reported last month that Quicken Loans was finalizing plans for a Tuesday-night match at Detroit Golf Club that would be shown live on Golf Channel and CBS Sports and would involve two of golf's most popular players and two celebrities.
Negotiations stalled, however, and it was getting too close to June 7 to firm up details involving air time on the networks and lights for Detroit Golf Club.
"We ran out of time to get an agreement confirmed," said Sean O'Flaherty, McIlroy's manager.
It would have been the first golf exhibition in prime time on a network since 2005, when the last of several such games involving Tiger Woods took place. Those were played in California, and lights were only used on the final few holes, if necessary.
O'Flaherty did not say what the delay was in negotiations, but said both players remain hopeful it can happen. It just won't be in June.
"We hope to produce a Rory-Rickie game in the future," O'Flaherty said. "We think this would be really good for golf."
Golf has a tradition of exhibitions. A century ago, one of the rewards for winning a major was being selected to compete in such exhibitions, for which the prize money was greater than anything won at a major.
Woods resurrected that concept in 1999 with the "Showdown at Sherwood" against David Duval (they were No. 1 and No. 2 in the world at the time) and played in another exhibition against Sergio Garcia a year later. Those Monday-night exhibitions moved away from head-to-head matches and switched to team events that included women and seniors, then they stopped in 2005.
The ratings peaked in 2000 at 7.6 and dropped to 3.0 in 2005 when Woods and John Daly played Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen at the Bridges on Rancho Santa Fe. Lights were used at those matches only when it got dark.
Woods and McIlroy played a stroke-play exhibition in 2012 in China. That was available in America through live streaming.