LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Rory McIlroy has stated his position unequivocally: He’s a PGA Tour pro at heart, and he’s sick of hearing about any hypothetical alternative leagues.
“Oh, I’m so sick of it,” he grumbled at the Genesis Invitational on Wednesday, where he’ll make his first Tour appearance of 2022.
As the current head of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council, McIlroy knows more about the future of the game than any other player. What other events the Tour has planned. The extent to which the purses will swell. Despite the current instability in the golf environment, McIlroy believes the Tour has accomplished its financial targets for at least the past decade, and he anticipates the same for the foreseeable future.
“There are a lot of individuals out here who are going to get rich if they play well,” he said.
Of course, some players will be unsatisfied as rumors of a Saudi-backed Super Golf League – or the “not-so-Super League,” as McIlroy joked – continue to circulate. Despite the hyperbole, no players have openly committed to the breakaway circuit, and McIlroy was asked if he was interested in seeing who would be the first to do so.
“It just feels like a tremendous risk for the younger players,” McIlroy said. “I think I can make sense of it for the guys who are nearing the end of their careers.” I don’t believe that’s what a rival golf league is all about — that’s not what they want, is it? They don’t want a league that’s similar to the pre-Champions Tour.”
Instead, he referred to the world’s best players, many of whom have already thrown their support behind the Tour in what is quickly becoming an us-versus-them battle: world No. 1 Jon Rahm, as well as Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and other well-known names.
“You look at who’s already said ‘no,'” McIlroy said. “The fact that the best players in the world are saying ‘no,’ tells you something.”