McIlroy 'against' Premier Golf League until he has no choice
Rory McIlroy took a bold stance on the Premier Golf League, the potential tour threatening to poach the world's best players from the PGA Tour.
"The more I've thought about it, the more I don't like it," McIlroy said Wednesday at the WGC-Mexico Championship. "The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do. I pick and choose."
"If you go and play this other golf league, you're not going to have that choice," he continued.
However, McIlroy, who said opinions among his peers are "split at the minute," added that he may be forced to jump ship regardless of his current stance.
"For me, I'm out," said the 30-year-old. "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 are proposing."
The new tour is proposing a lucrative 18-tournament schedule every player would be forced to follow. Each event would consist of 48 players competing for a weekly $10-million purse. Additionally, the tour plans to implement a Formula 1-style team component, with 12 player-owned teams competing for the entire season.
When reports regarding the Premier Golf League first surfaced in January, McIlroy believed the potential tour might be a "catalyst" for change on the PGA Tour to "reward the top players the way they should be."
His tune has quickly changed.
"People are looking at it purely from a monetary standpoint," said McIlroy. "... I would like to be on the right side of history with this one, just sort of as Arnold (Palmer) was with the whole Greg Norman thing in the 90s. I value a lot of other things over money."
Norman attempted to put together a world tour in the 90s, which eventually led to the creation of the World Golf Championships.
"I read a thing the other day where it said if you take the money they can tell you want to do, so if you don't take the money, they can't tell you what to do," said McIlroy. "And I think that's my thing. I've never been one for being told what to do."
Additionally, McIlroy doesn't believe Tiger Woods is onboard either. The 15-time major winner is arguably the most important factor for the future of the Premier Golf League.
"Tiger's 44, he's got two young kids. He's openly said last week he wants to play 12 times a year, and this league's proposing 18. So you know, he's not going to do it," said McIlroy.