CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rory McIlroy returned to the site of his first PGA Tour victory and made it clear Wednesday that he is more interested in creating his place in history than chasing Saudi-backed money in a proposed super league.
Justin Thomas wasn't far behind in that line of thinking.
The topic occupying most of the chatter at Quail Hollow Club ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship is renewed efforts by a “Super League Golf" to attract top players for a concept of team golf played around the world for massive riches.
The Daily Telegraph in London reported the league is prepared to offer fees ranging from $30 million to $50 million to marquee players, including Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, to join a new circuit that would begin playing as early as September 2022.
“He has listened to their presentation, like all the other top players. No commitment whatsoever,” Johnson's manager, David Winkle, said in a text.
The Telegraph said Phil Mickelson, who at age 50 is No. 115 in the world ranking, is being offered twice that much as the “de facto leader of the rebels.”
McIlroy, who turned 32 on Tuesday, was the first player to publicly oppose the new league more than a year ago. He has been elected chairman of the Player Advisory Council, meaning he will be the first foreign-born player to join the PGA Tour's board of directors.
McIlroy referenced the failed attempt to create a European Super League in football, in which 12 clubs were founding members. The backlash was so strong that nine clubs — including all six from England — announced they would withdraw.