Prior to the start of the WGC-Mexico Championship two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy became the first big name in golf to come out and speak against the newly proposed Premier Golf League. The current world No. 1 explained that having the freedom to control everything involved with his career is extremely important to him, which is something players would lose if they signed on with this new league.
After his opening round 66 at the Arnold Palmer Invitation on Thursday, McIlroy doubled down on his take against the PGL when asked about how much pride he has with the PGA Tour on Golf Channel.
“I’d like to think I’m quite a loyal person and I think the PGA Tour has given me a platform to showcase my skills, to build my brand into this golfer and athlete that I am,” McIlroy said. “I think Jay Monahan and his team do a wonderful job with the Tour.”
McIlroy, as he did in Mexico, reiterated just how important it is to have autonomy with his career and scheduling and that it would disappear with the Premier Golf League. He also took a jab at the money aspect of the PGL.
“The reason I said what I said is because, we were in Mexico a couple of weeks ago and some people decided not to go, but that was their choice, that was the freedom that they had. They have autonomy over their schedule,” he explained. “They can pick and choose when and where they want to play, where if we go to this new league that’s not going to be the case. They’re going to tell you where and when you should be there. As a golfer and an independent contractor, I didn’t like the sound of that and I didn’t really like where the money was coming from, either.
I wanted to be the first one to speak out against it and I’m glad that I have, I’m glad that I’ve done that.”
It’s worth noting that to close his statement against the PGL down in Mexico, he explained that he was against it until a day perhaps comes when he can’t be against it.
“For me, I’m out. My position is I’m against it until there may come a day that I can’t be against it. If everyone else goes, I might not have a choice, but at this point, yeah, I don’t like what they’re proposing.”
The PGL would consist of 18, 54-hole tournaments. A total of 48 players would compete in an eight-month season with a total of $240 million in total prize money. There would be no cut in the tournaments, and the most interesting part of this is that there would be both an individual format and team-league format.
Events would have $10 million purses where $2 million would be given to the winner, with an overall champion receiving a $10 million bonus and a $40 million team prize fund.
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