Rory McIlroy's message to greedy golfers? "They need to get their heads checked"

Rory McIlroy has urged his fellow PGA our stars to 'get their heads checked' if they believe they aren't being paid enough money.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 7 Dec 2023
Rory McIlroy's message to greedy golfers? "They need to get their heads checked"

Rory McIlroy has urged his fellow professional golfers who believe they aren't being paid enough to 'get their heads checked'. 

McIlroy made the comments in an interview with Sky Sports' Jamie Weir after putting forward his views on the plans to rollback the golf ball. 

As far as McIlroy is concerned the decision by the R&A and USGA to limit how far the golf ball will travel is a good thing. 

It will make the game more entertaining, he said, as he believes it will bring back more skill at the elite level

McIlroy was also asked about the ludicrous amounts of money involved in men's professional golf these days. 

Since LIV Golf emerged and began attracting players with guaranteed contracts and astronomical prize purses, the PGA Tour has been locked in a no-win financial fight. 

The North American circuit reacted by upping their prize purses significantly.  

Elsewhere, the player impact programme was unveiled which dishes out even more cash bonuses for what some argue is a nothing more than a Tiger Woods tax, a popularity contest and an effort to prevent future defections. 

In this regard McIlroy has benefitted to the tune of $30.5m since 2021. In the most recent PIP results, McIlroy dethroned the 47-year-old, 15-time major champion to the top prize of $15m. 

Yes, elite men's professional golfers have never had it so good. 

"Yeah, I certainly understand that sentiment," McIlroy told Weir when asked if the top end of the game is now 'all about greed'. 

"There's a lot of interest in the game and, because there's a lot of interest in the game there's a lot of money that's going into the game because people understand that the more players they get to play the game the more money they can make. 

"So, from an economic standpoint it makes sense but as a golfer compared to the eyeballs football brings or in America NFL, MLB, even NHL, we do way better than those athletes relative to the eyeballs we bring into our sport."

He continued: "An NFL game might average 18-20 million viewers a night when it's being played regardless of the two teams that are playing.

"Any given week on the PGA Tour in America the average broadcast is somewhere between 2.5-3.5 million. You know, so, we are, whatever that is... a sixth of the size of the viewership of what an NFL game would be but we are getting paid pretty comparatively to those guys. 

"As golfers we are punching way above our weight in terms of the money we're paid. Anyone, anyone, that complains we aren't getting paid enough needs to go get their head checked."

McIlroy, 34, has been heavily involved in helping shape the PGA Tour's future amid the battle with LIV. 

But he has resigned from his influential position on the policy board. 

It is a decision that former European Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley believes won't harm him as the Ulsterman heads into 2024 to try and break his major drought which will enter its 10th year. 

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