Rory McIlroy has described the renewed proposals for a Super Golf League as a "money grab", and has claimed he is opposed to the lucrative breakaway competition.
McIlroy compared the Saudi-backed plans to the attempted European Super League in football, and has said that he would declare any offers to take part in an alternative league, no matter what the price.
McIlroy felt the timing of the reports were not a coincidence, with the Super Golf League a topic of discussion at the annual PGA Tour players meeting ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship.
"They first contacted me back in 2014, so this is seven years down the line and nothing has really changed," said McIlroy at Quail Hollow, where he is a two-time champion. "Maybe the source of the money has changed or the people that are in charge have changed, but nothing has happened.
"If you go back to what happened last week in Europe with the European Super League in football, people can see it for what it 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. Totally fine, then go and do that if that's what makes you happy.
"But 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 honestly don't think there's a better structure in place in golf, and I don't think there will be.
"You have the strategic partnership as well between Europe and the PGA Tour and that's only going to strengthen the structure of golf going forward as well in terms of scheduling and all sorts of other stuff and working together a little bit more.
"I don't think it was a coincidence that the news came out yesterday just as the PGA Tour was having their annual player meeting and Jay addressing the membership. Yeah, I think you all know my feelings on it and I'm very much against it. I don't see why anyone would be for it."
McIlroy, now chairman of the Tour's Player Advisory Council, also insisted that he would work to protect the PGA Tour, and he reiterated his doubts that the SGL would ever get off the ground if the top players are to be barred from Tour competition, the major championships and the Ryder Cup.
"You have to protect your product, right? You have to protect what you have, because this is a competitive threat. Jay took us through it last night, and if I were in charge of the PGA Tour, I would do the same thing.
"You saw what happened last week with the European Super League. The top 12 clubs got together and said 'Let's keep more of the money for ourselves', and people didn't like that. It affects competition, it affects the integrity of competition. I just can't see how it works.
"It's a complicated issue, but I just don't see at this point how it can get going. And the possibility that people, if they do go in that direction, can't play in the biggest tournaments in the game?
"The game of golf, whether it's a right thing or a wrong thing, is so about history. We still talk about Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan and all those guys because that's what this game is. It's steeped in history and the legacies that those guys have."
Author: Jake Wilkin