MEXICO CITY – Rory McIlroy grew up idolizing Tiger Woods. These days, the 30-year-old Northern Irish and four-time main champion is the brightest star in the game in the post-Woods galaxy.
In other words, when the current World no. 1 speaks, his words carry gravitas.
“There are only a handful of guys taking the tour,” said Matt Kuchar. “[Rory] it’s one of them. “
So when McIlroy told the WGC-Mexico Championship Wednesday: “I’m out”, on the idea of the Premier Golf League very publicized but still very fantastic, it meant something.
What exactly? The answers embrace multitudes.
First, McIlroy’s words were to be welcome news for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. The reigning champion of the FedEx Cup and the Player of the Year who choose Ponte Vedra for the proposed proposal of an 18 tournament tournament with 18 tournaments, which is ready, according to a source, to throw a prize pool of $ 100 million at McIlroy , is a statement that the status quo, or at least many other elements, is the best option. He is also the first high-profile player to publicly choose teams, unlike Woods, who was non-commital, or Phil Mickelson, who remains intrigued and expects him to decide on the flagship tour event, the Players Championship. .
For another, as McIlroy compatriot Shane Lowry has pointed out, if the Premier Golf League fails to land McIlroy and other big names, then he died on arrival.
“The point I would like to point out to the other players is that if Rory isn’t doing it, why isn’t she doing it?” said Billy Horschel, who, along with McIlroy, is a member of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council. “Look at things from many perspectives.”
Among those perspectives that McIlroy underlined on Wednesday: the possibility of choosing his own program, which does not play golf for the money and who would like to be on the right side of the story on the subject.
However, the potential rival organization, or at least the ideas he presented, persists and the players remain (as noted by McIlroy) divided on where they are and which side to choose.
“It’s interesting,” said Kuchar of the PGL. “If I could design a better version of PGA Tour, it wouldn’t seem like the current version. What we have is fantastic, [but] I think there is a lot of hope that the Tour will move in a slightly different direction going forward, and guys like Rory have an influence in that direction. “
Such indications, according to a source, could include more cash prizes, potentially fewer events and therefore a shorter season, and the possibility of incentivizing the stars to play in certain events (or, again, for money).
Players are already starting to reap at least some major benefits from the tour.
This year’s players’ championship bag was raised to $ 15 million, up from $ 12.5 million a year ago – news that came when discussions on the PGL increased. A new television deal, which could be announced by this year’s Players, would likely lead to higher exchanges in other events as well, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
“The appeal for the cash grab [presumably offered by the PGL] it will be less attractive than it once was, ”said Webb Simpson, as the tour also seems to offer more money.
So where does the Premier Golf League come from? It depends on who you ask.
“At the end of the day we are professional athletes and the definition of professional means getting paid, so he will end up making money,” said Kevin Na. “Money tends to convince players. If the money is much better, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some players go. “
Even McIlroy has admitted that a day may come when he may have no choice if everyone else does.
What if McIlroy and the other stars in the game don’t?
“It’s interesting, but it’s not that interesting to me,” said Bryson DeChambeau. “If you can’t get the best guys, then what’s the point?”
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