World No.1 Rory McIlroy has dealt organisers of the Premier Golf League a massive blow by declaring he has no interest in joining the proposed new circuit.
Revealed last month the Premier Golf League is being pitched as an alternative to the PGA Tour and European Tour in what appears to be a realisation of long-mooted plans for a world tour.
It is believed that the tour would comprise an 18-event schedule, starting in 2022 and running from January to September. Each event would be 54 holes, have no cut, be restricted to 48-player fields and be worth an eye-popping $10m.
Despite continued uncertainty over who is behind the Premier Golf League - although it has been widely suggested that it is being bankrolled by Saudi Arabia - the proposals have already caught the attention of several of the game's biggest players.
Rory McIlroy, however, is the first to official rule himself out of it.
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Speaking to reporters in Mexico City on the eve of this week's WGC-Mexico Championship, the 30-year-old said: "The more I've thought about it, the more I don't like it.
"The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do. I pick and choose, and this is a perfect example. Some guys this week made the choice to not come to Mexico, but if you go and play this other golf league, you're not going to have that choice.
"I read a thing the other day where it said if you take the money they can tell you what to do, so if you don't take the money, they can't tell you what to do.
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"I think that's my thing. I've never been one for being told what to do. I like to have that autonomy and freedom over my career, and I feel like I would give that up by going to play this other league."
He added: "For me, I'm out. My position is I'm against it until there may come a day that I can't be against it. If everyone else goes, I might not have a choice but at this point, I don't like what they're proposing."
Tellingly, McIlroy also said that he wants to "be on the right side of history" where this proposed venture is concerned, which may or may not be a reference to the implied Saudi Arabian involvement. McIlroy rejected a huge appearance fee to play in last month's Saudi International on moral grounds.