Rory McIlroy backed up by Homa: "No one's trying to screw bottom half of PGA"

Rory McIlroy says the PGA Tour should take inspiration from the NBA but insisted "no one's trying to screw over the bottom half" of the membership.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 16 Feb 2023
Rory McIlroy backed up by Homa: "No one's trying to screw bottom half of PGA"

Rory McIlroy reckons the PGA Tour should take inspiration from the NBA. 

Speaking before the Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods, McIlroy said the NBA was built around the elite and "not the 12th guy on the team". 

He was talking about the elevated events that were unveiled as a response to LIV Golf

Related: McIlroy admits he was wrong about LIV

The idea was to persuade the PGA's best players to compete outside of the majors more often with prize purses to rival the breakaway tour. 

Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler have won the first two events that have been given designated status, both collecting cheques for $3.6m.

The Genesis Invitational also has a huge prize purse. 

But there is some concern amongst the membership about the new events being a closed shop. 

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus has similarly expressed reservations

The Golden Bear suggested previously suggested the changes within the PGA Tour essentially risk dividing the North American circuit into two tiers.


McIlroy insisted it is not a closed shop, adding: 

"I've had tons of conversations with guys that are worried about what events they're going to play next year and all that."

He continued: 

"The one thing I said, look, no one's trying to screw the bottom half of the tour here. If anything, we're trying to lift it up.
"We're trying to -- if you have a, you know, I hate calling it a product, but a product that this year's forecast to do $2bn in gross revenue, you're trying to grow that product as much as possible."
"So the way I've tried to describe it is if you look at like the NBA's trajectory over the last 20 years, they've built that league around their best players and their stars, not around the 12th guy on the team, but because they've built that league up around the stars, the 12th guy on the team does way better than he used to." 

"The ceiling is being raised and the floor is staying exactly the same"

Five-time PGA Tour winner Max Homa believes members' potential gripes aren't completely accurate at the moment.

Homa said: 

"I know some players' concerns, but I don't think you're being shut out. You are being given an opportunity to see an insane amount of growth if you're looking financially.
"[If] you have a great season, which we all try to do, you're all of a sudden now in this world of top dollar events without playing a season where you're in anything less than you're doing right now.
"So it feels like the ceiling is being raised and the floor is staying exactly the same."

Homa said he believes the world ranking structure makes it mathematically easier to succeed. 

He added:

"So I totally understand people's potential gripes with it but I don't think they are completely accurate based on what they are getting at the moment."

What do you think about the new elevated events? Has it made you more likely to tune into PGA Tour coverage?

Why not Tweet us and lets us know your thoughts. 

Next page: Pro urged to join LIV after PGA Tour snub