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Posted February 19, 2020 03:02 pm
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Rory McIlroy delivers strong rejection to proposed new tour

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    Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits out of a bunker onto the 17th green during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

MEXICO CITY — Rory McIlroy is the first top player to publicly outright reject the idea of a proposed new tour that is promising big money but would force players to choose which tour to play.

McIlroy stated his allegiance to the PGA Tour.

“I want to be on the right side of history,” McIlroy said.

Talk of a Premier Golf League has been around for about six years and picked up momentum — along with serious funding, primarily from Saudi Arabia — in recent months. Organizers have been talking to players and agents the last few months.

McIlroy has been cool to the idea all along, and on Wednesday at the Mexico Championship, he held nothing back.

“It's not going to work,” McIlroy said.

He said players were split on the idea, and suggested that Tiger Woods at age 44 would not be interested.

The idea of the Premier Golf League is to invigorate golf by putting together 12 four-man teams that would be required to play 18 events — 10 of them in the U.S. — that feature 54 holes, no cut and a shotgun start to fit a five-hour broadcast window. Total prize money would be $240 million, and the top player could earn as much as $50 million.

McIlroy said money was “cheap.”

He said a player would lose his ability to choose where to play by signing up for the new league.