Rory McIlroy: Saudi-backed Super League is dead in the water
Rory McIlroy believes the Saudi-backed Super League is “dead in the water” after two of its top targets pledged their support to the PGA Tour.
In a dramatic double development on Sunday, recent world No 1 Dustin Johnson and 2010 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau both said they plan to remain with the PGA Tour.
The duo joined McIlroy, 15-time major winner Tiger Woods, current world No 1 Jon Rahm, Open champion Collin Morikawa and other prominent players in shutting the door on joining the proposed breakaway circuit being fronted by Greg Norman.
Will this end it?
“Yeah, yeah,” said McIlroy in reply to being asked if the decisions by Johnson and DeChambeau could be a nail in the coffin for the Super League.
“Who's left? Who's left to go? I mean, there's no one. It's dead in the water in my opinion. Yeah, I just can't see any reason why anyone would go.”
McIlroy also didn’t hold back on Phil Mickelson over his scathing comments about the PGA Tour that were reported last week and how he admitted using the proposed new league to create leverage against the tour.
“I don't want to kick someone while he's down obviously,” said the Northern Irishman of Mickelson, the current US PGA champion, “but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant.”
Referring to what Mickelson said in a phone conversation with writer Alan Shipnuck, which appeared last week on the Fire Pit Collective, McIlroy added: “A lots of words to describe that interaction he had with Shipnuck.
“It was just very surprising and disappointing, sad. I'm sure he's sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here.”
Johnson, who missed the cut this week at the Genesis Invitational, and DeChambeau, who has been out with an injury since withdrawing from the recent Saudi International two weeks ago, both issued statements via social media Sunday.
“Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour; much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf,’’ said Johnson, the world No 6, in a statement posted on his behalf by the PGA Tour.
“I feel it’s now time to put such speculation to rest I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to play the best tour in the world and for all it has provided me and my family.
“While there will always be areas where our Tour can improve and evolve, I am thankful for our leadership and the many sponsors who make the PGA Tour golf’s premier tour.’’
A few hours later, world No 12 DeChambeau delivered another crushing blow to Norman in his role as CEO of LIV Golf Enterprises.
“While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it very clear that as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I,” said DeChambeau.
“As of now, I am focused on getting myself healthy and competing again soon. I appreciate the support.’’
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