Rory McIlroy isn’t a fan of the proposed Premier Golf League. Ahead of the WGC-Mexico Championship, the four-time major champion voiced his issues with a new league that would rival both the European Tour and the PGA Tour.
What is the Premier Golf League?
As first reported by Andrew Both of Reuters in 2018, a new global golf circuit that would directly compete with the PGA Tour was being discussed by the British-based World Golf Group. That new circuit is now known as the Premier Golf League.
While nothing has been finalized, the PGL could start as early as 2022, if it gets off the ground anyway. Under the proposed rules, the circuit would consist of 48 players, who would receive guaranteed money to be a part of the Premier Golf League.
There would be 18 tournaments, which would consist of just 54 holes as opposed to 72, from January to September and all players would be required to participate in all of them if they want to receive all of their money. The final event would be a team event. The number currently being thrown around is a total season purse of $240 million, with the top player perhaps being eligible to make $50 million. Of the 18 events, 10 would be played in the United States and the remaining eight would be scattered around the world.
How would the PGL impact the PGA Tour?
Officials of the Premier Golf League have said that their players would still be able to participate in golf’s four major championships. However, as far as playing on either the PGA Tour or the European Tour, that’s a solid no. If a player competes for the PGL, the other tours are not an option.
The Premier Golf League has already been in contact with many of the game’s top players, including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and arguably the two most popular players in the game, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The clear idea of the PGL is to become the more attractive circuit by poaching the world’s best and most popular players.
As per usual, Tiger hasn’t talked about it much. Mickelson played with PGL officials in a recent pro-am in Saudi Arabia and found the idea intriguing. However, it’s hard to imagine two players in their 40s committing to such a busy schedule.
Will Rory McIlroy be joining the PGL?
At only 30 years old, Rory McIlroy is an obvious choice for the Premier Golf League to center their circuit around. He’s a massive draw, a proven commodity, a four-time major winner, and the current number one player in the world. It only makes sense to go after him. Unfortunately for the PGL, Rory doesn’t want anything to do with it. McIlroy voiced his concerns ahead of the week’s World Golf Championships event in Mexico, citing numerous reasons on why he’s not interested.
“The more I’ve thought about it, the more I don’t like it.
“I read a thing the other day where it said if you take the money they can tell you what to do. And 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, and I feel like I would give that up by going to play this other league.
“For me, I’m out.”Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy’s opinion in golf matters. He’s one of those players that moves the needle. If he’s out, it likely means that others will be out as well. “I’m out” may have been the phrase that killed the Premier Golf League before it ever got started.