Rory McIlroy Continues Criticism of Saudi Arabia-Funded Golf League

He doesn't sound happy with Phil Mickelson

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks onto the 12th green during the second round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2022.
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Are we witnessing a potential shift in power in the world of golf? We might be! The short version is that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is backing a golf league that would act as a rival to the PGA Tour. Golf Digest has a good overview of the situation here, which gives a sense of what’s at stake and where some of the sport’s biggest names fall in the debate.

The possibility of the rival league gaining prominence has shocked some golfers, while others have declared their support for it. Phil Mickelson is in the latter camp, and has declared that, while he’s no fan of the government of Saudi Arabia, he does support the rival league for the changes it might spark within the PGA Tour.

Not everyone agrees. Rory McIlroy has been especially harsh in his criticism of both the rival league and Mickelson himself. “I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down, obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” McIlroy said while competing at the Genesis Invitational.

As The Washington Post reported, McIlroy went on to praise Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson for their recent commitments to the PGA Tour.

“We all want to play against the best players in the world, and they’re certainly two of the best players in the world, and it’s nice to know that they’re committed to playing here and committed to making this the best tour in the world,” McIlroy said.

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