Sport Rory McIlroy: Players want to know where they stand amid golf’s power struggle
Rory McIlroy will be "angry, disappointed and frustrated" after late collapse in Dubai
Calamitous break saw four-time major champion surrender lead to eventual champion Collin Morikawa a crucial one-shot lead. From there, McIlroy dropped a shot and went on to bogey the 16th and 18th, finishing five shots off Morikawa who became the first American to win the Race to Dubai title It was a dispiriting end to the week for McIlroy who had been bidding to win the DP World Tour Championship for a third time and back up last month’s win at the CJ Cup.
Twenty five of the game’s biggest names have committed to play the 2022 Saudi Invitational, potentially placing them on a collision course with their home circuits.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau are among the players scheduled to compete in the £3.7million event from February 3-6.
The Saudi International was previously on the European Tour but is now the flagship event on the Asian Tour, which is also launching 10 new events spearheaded by former world number one Greg Norman and backed by 200 million US dollars from the Saudi government’s Private Investment Fund.
Justin Thomas calls Rory McIlroy 'one of my favourites' after European Tour meltdown
Justin Thomas was full of praise for Rory McIlroy despite the Northern Irishman's disappointing final day at the DP World Tour Championship. McIlroy headed into the final round of the tournament leading the field, with many tipping him as favourite to collect the £2.2 million prize at the finale event of the European Tour season.Even with nine holes of the event to play, the four-time major winner still found himself leading the pack, thanks to a steady start.
The PGA Tour said in July that it would not grant players the required releases to play in “unsanctioned events” and that could see players being fined or even suspended if they opt to play rival events without permission.
McIlroy has made it clear he is not interested in playing in events backed by Saudi money but said: “I think we are independent contractors and we should be able to play where we want to play.
“I think the Tour should grant the releases because it’s an Asian Tour event, it has OWGR (points).
“I do see reasons why they wouldn’t grant releases but if they are trying to do what’s best for their members and their members are going to a place other than the PGA Tour and being able to earn that money, we should be able to that if that’s our personal choice.”
Tiger Woods warned to 'bring it' by old foe Phil Mickelson after viral video causes frenzy
Phil Mickelson has fired a warning to old rival Tiger Woods after the latter was seen hitting golf balls for the first time since his car accident in February.Woods has not been seen with a golf club in hand since suffering severe injuries in the accident in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Asked if he feared legal battles were on the horizon, McIlroy added: “Yeah, I think so. I think the professional game needs to get to a point where we as professionals know where we stand.
“Are we actually independent contractors? Are we employed by a certain entity? There’s a lot of grey areas in that and that’s what needs to be sorted out.
“I think the players feel like they’re pawns at the minute in this big global game of golf and we just know want to know where we stand.”
Speaking ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, McIlroy became frustrated by questions about the bizarre end to his last tournament, when he ripped his shirt in frustration after failing to convert a 54-hole lead in the DP World Tour Championship.
The former world number one had suffered a cruel piece of bad luck on the 15th when his approach hit the flagstick and bounced into a bunker, but played his last four holes in three over par in a closing 74 to slip into a tie for sixth.
42 classic kei cars
42 classic kei cars
“What I was angry about was how I reacted to the bad break,” McIlroy admitted.
“Not the bad break or the fact that I didn’t win the tournament, it was my reaction to it that made me angry because I basically lost my head after that.”
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