Rory McIlroy returned to the site of his first PGA Tour victory and made it clear he is more interested in creating his place in history than chasing Saudi-backed money in a proposed super league.
The topic occupying most of the chatter at Quail Hollow Club ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship was the 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 US$30 million (AU$39 million) to US$50 million (AU$65 million) to marquee players, including Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, to join a new circuit that would begin playing in September 2022.
McIlroy, who turned 32 on Tuesday, was the first player to publicly oppose the new league more than a year ago.
"People can see it for what is, which is a money grab, which is fine if that's what you're playing golf for is to make as much money as possible," McIlroy said.
"People can see it for what is, which is a money grab, which is fine if that's what you're playing golf for is to make as much money as possible." – Rory McIlroy
"Totally fine. Then go and do that if that's what makes you happy. But I think the top players in the game – I'm just speaking my own personal beliefs – I'm playing this game to try to cement my place in history and my legacy and to win major championships and to win the biggest tournaments in the world.
"I'm very much against it. I don't see why anyone would be for it."
Players had a previously scheduled mandatory meeting on Tuesday with Commissioner Jay Monahan.
According to several players who attended the meeting, Monahan reiterated what he told players more than a year ago when the proposed super league – then known as the Premier Golf League – made its first pitch: players who join will be suspended from the PGA Tour and could be banned permanently.
American star Justin Thomas followed McIlroy's line, saying: "I personally am about being No.1 in the world and winning as many majors as I can and winning as many tournaments as I can and doing historical things on the PGA Tour.
- Doug Ferguson, Associated Press