Portugal Colonial - McIlroy 'so sick' of Super League discussion

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McIlroy 'so sick' of Super League discussion
McIlroy 'so sick' of Super League discussion

McIlroy 'so sick' of Super League discussion

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy is "sick" of talking about the proposed Saudi-backed golf Super League, and thinks the PGA Tour offers plenty of opportunity for quality golfers.

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"Oh, I'm so sick of it," the Northern Ireland star said Wednesday at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club when asked if he was growing tired of the topic.

McIlroy, 32, has already made it plain he's not a fan of the proposed league, which has been championed by Australian great Greg Norman but has yet to officially confirm its first signed-up player.

"I guess I'm intrigued who would (join)," McIlroy said. "Certainly for the younger guys, it just seems a massive risk.

"I can maybe make sense of it for the guys that are getting to the later stages of their career, for sure. I don't think that's what a rival golf league is really, that's not what they're going to want, is it?

Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas have also indicated they wouldn't be interested.

But talk about the league has ramped up recently thanks to comments from Phil Mickelson blasting the "greed" of the US PGA Tour as something that would make the league -- which would offer big guaranteed money -- attractive.

There have been reports that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will ban any player who joins the Super League from the US tour.

McIlroy, who is on the PGA Tour's policy board, said he believed the PGA Tour was in a strong financial position, and players stood to benefit from increased prize money and bonus programs in coming years.

"There's a forecast through 2025, yeah," McIlroy said. "Any forecast that the PGA Tour has produced in the last 10 years, they've hit their target. So the forecast for 2025, it looks good."

McIlroy said he didn't know if he was authorized to discuss figures, but said: "There's a ton of guys out here that are going to get rich if they play well."

- A big thing -

He said he thought that perhaps the US tour could do more to educate its players on its financial situation.

And he addressed the issue of the tour retaining media rights -- such as of images of players competing in tournaments -- which Mickelson in particular has criticized.

McIlroy said the model was similar to that of the NBA and NFL and other major sports leagues, who attract sponsorship money by controling media rights.

McIlroy suggested there could be more "flexibility" in media rights, while 15-time major winner Woods said changes in the media landscape -- including the evolution of the internet and social media -- meant the system should evolve.

"Media rights is a big thing," said Woods, who is still sidelined as he recovers from serious leg injuries suffered in a car crash last year. Woods noted than when he launched his pro career "we barely had cellphones, barely had the internet."

"A lot of us are concerned about what is the direction where we're going and how can we have more control over that ... there's a balance of what's best for the players and what's best for the brand."

E.Paulino--PC