Rory McIlroy dismisses Super Golf League, calls it ‘money-grabbing’
Rory McIlroy says any top golfer signing up for a proposed Super Golf League would be “money-grabbing” and believes they should be banned from playing on the European Tour and PGA Tour, reports scotsman.com.
Initially called the Premier Golf League, the planned breakaway circuit has resurfaced this week after it was reported that world No 1 Dustin Johnson and fellow major winners Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka had all received offers worth more than $100 million to be part of it.
The PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, responded to the renewed talk of the plan, which is being fronted by Majed Al Sorour, the chief executive of Golf Saudi, by warning that anyone signing for the Super Golf League would be immediately suspended and face a lifetime ban from the circuit.
A message from European Tour chief executive, Keith Pelley, was equally forceful, with the two main men’s tours in the world now working together through a new Strategic Alliance.
“We are aligned with the PGA Tour in opposing, in the strongest possible terms, any proposal for an alternative golf league,” said Pelley in a statement.
Four-time major winner, McIlroy, was one of the first players to say he had no interest in being part of the Super Golf League, the initial plan for which was 48 players competing in a Formula One-style team and individual format over 18 worldwide tournaments.
The Northern Irishman has since taken over as chairman of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council and, speaking ahead of an appearance in this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, he stressed that he is still firmly against the proposal.
“They first contacted me back in 2014, so this is seven years down the line and nothing has really changed,” said McIlroy.
“Maybe the source of the money’s changed or the people that are in charge have changed, but nothing has happened.
“No sponsorship deals, no media deals, no players have signed up, no manufacturers have signed up. There’s been so many iterations at this point.”
McIlroy, an avid Manchester United fan, added: “Go back to what happened last week in Europe with the European Super League in football.
“People can see it for what it is, which is a money grab, which is fine if that’s what you’re playing golf for is to make as much money as possible. Totally fine, then go and do that if that’s what makes you happy.
“But I think the top players in the game, I’m just speaking my own personal beliefs, like I’m playing this game to try to cement my place in history and my legacy and to win major championships and to win the biggest tournaments in the world. That’s why I’m playing this game.
“Look, it’s a complicated issue, but I just don’t see at this point how it can get going. The game of golf, whether it’s a right thing or a wrong thing, is so about history. We still talk about Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan and all those guys because that’s what this game is.
“It’s steeped in history and the legacies that those guys have. If you move further away from that, you’re basically losing the essence of what competitive golf is. That’s my stance on it and that’s been my stance for a long time. I just can’t see how it happens.”