LOS ANGELES — Rory McIlroy is tired of talking about the proposed Saudi-backed Super Golf League, which may or may not strip the PGA Tour of a handful of its best players.
“Not-so-super league,” McIlroy said, under his breath, when asked during a news conference at Riviera Country Club on Wednesday about the breakaway league fronted by Greg Norman.
World No. 1 Jon Rahm also joined McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka and others in pledging his loyalty to the PGA Tour.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk and speculation about the Saudi league, it’s not something I believe is best for me and my future in golf,” Rahm said Wednesday. “I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA Tour.”
A handful of PGA Tour players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, have reportedly been mulling offers from the Saudi-backed league. Australia’s Adam Scott said Wednesday that he signed a non-disclosure agreement with organizers of the proposed league and was intrigued by its shorter schedule.
“I think the schedule they’re proposing is very appealing to probably most golfers, I would think,” Scott said. “You know, depending [on] what your goals are in golf, I think the schedule is very appealing. From that side of things, I would consider doing that, for sure. From a lifestyle side of things, yes.”
No players have officially committed to play in the proposed start-up circuit.
“You look at the people that have already said no — Rahm, No. 1 in the world, Collin Morikawa, myself,” McIlroy said. “The top players in the world are saying no, so that has to tell you something.”
Rahm, a member of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, said he advised his management team not to talk to organizers of the new circuit.
“I made it very clear to my management team to not even bother me with it until this thing was something that was maybe real,” Rahm said. “They never came back. The only things I ever heard were from players. You hear Bryson got $135 million and this person got $100 million. I’ve already made more money in my life than I ever thought I was going to make, so that’s not the appealing part to me, right?”
Norman announced in January that Saudi-funded golf tournaments will be played in Great Britain and the Middle East as part of a new 10-event series on the Asian Tour. Norman said future events also will take place in the U.S.
Rahm said anyone who leaves to play in the Saudi events shouldn’t be allowed to play on the PGA Tour.
“I can’t speak for majors, but if you’re jumping ship and abandoning the PGA Tour, chasing the product [they’re] offering there, no, I don’t think so,” Rahm said.
McIlroy said he has seen financial projects for the PGA Tour through 2025 and believes it is equipped to offer increased purses and bonuses to its players. Last year, the tour introduced a Player Impact Program to reward the top 10 players who have the most popularity and appeal in a variety of platforms and increased the pool to $50 million this year.
“There’s a ton of guys out there that are going to get rich if they play well, put it that way,” McIlroy said.