RORY McILROY has sensationally snubbed the chance to play in the 183million Premier Golf League by declaring: “I’m out.”
The world No 1’s admission that he wants no part of the proposed rival to the PGA Tour could mean it fails before it has even begun.
A world tour made up of 18 events and 48 players was being hailed as a revolutionary breakaway from the lucrative tour in the US and the European Tour.
Tiger Woods and Justin Rose have been approached about joining the proposed league but remained tight-lipped about committing.
Not so McIlroy, though, with the four-time Major champion announcing before the start of today’s WGC-Mexico Championship that he wants no part of it.
McIlroy said: “The more I’ve thought about it, the more I don’t like it. For me, I’m out.
“The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do.
“I pick and choose. This is a perfect example. Some guys this week made the choice not to come to Mexico.
“If you go and play this other golf league, you’re not going to have that choice.
“I read a thing the other day that said if you take the money they can tell you what to do so if you don’t take the money they can’t tell you what to do.
“I think that’s my thing. I’ve never been one for being told what to do and I like to have that autonomy and freedom over my career.
“I feel like I would give that up by going to play this other league so 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 I don’t like what they’re proposing.
“Money’s cheap. Money’s the easy part. It shouldn’t be the driving factor. For some people it is.
“But at the end of the day I value my freedom and my autonomy over everything else.
“I want to be on the right side of history. I value a lot of other things over money.”
And quizzed about Woods taking part, McIlroy added: “Tiger’s 44. He’s got two young kids. He openly said last week he wants to play 12 times a year. This league’s proposing 18. So he’s not going to do it.”
More to follow.