Rory McIlroy has slammed the attempt by the Saudis to start a new Golf Super League and labelled it a “money grab” similar to the European Super League fiasco witnessed in football recently.
According to the BBC, eleven of the world’s leading golfers including world No.1 Dustin Johnson and Britain’s Olympic champion Justin Rose have been offered between US$30-$50 million (£21.5-£36 million) if they sign for the Saudi Arabia-backed project.
The PGA has come down heavily on the idea of players abandoning the PGA Tour to join the new super league. At a players meeting on Tuesday, CEO Jay Monahan is said to have made it clear that any defectors will be handed lifetime bans by the tour while also jeopardising their participation in the Ryder Cup later this year.
McIlroy, who chairs the Players Advisory Committee on the PGA Tour, has completely backed Monahan’s stance. The Northern Irishman believes the structure that is present now in terms of the PGA Tour and European Tour is the best there can be for the game.
“You have to protect what you have,” McIlroy said. “It’s a competitive threat. And Jay took us through it last night. It’s in the by-laws that were written by the members.”
“I don’t think there’s a better structure in place in golf, and I don’t think there will be,” he added.
McIlroy went on to compare it to the failed European Super League idea in football and is certain that it was just a money grab on the part of the Saudis, who are the pioneers of this new breakaway league.
The four-time major winner believes the new league is simply aimed at players that play the game simply to make a lot of money rather than cement their place in the history of the game by winning the most prestigious tournaments.
“People can see it for what it is, which is a money grab, which is fine if 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,” McIlroy said.
“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.”
McIlroy also went to reveal that the current idea was first mooted in 2014, and it was then called “Premier League Golf” but seven years later it has been re-christened Golf Super League.