Rory McIlroy blasts Phil Mickelson comments over Saudi Golf League: ‘Naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant’

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has criticised Phil Mickelson over the American’s comments regarding a proposed Saudi-backed breakaway tour, calling them “naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant”.

McIlroy has been forthright in his opposition to the Super Golf League, spearheaded by Greg Norman as a potential competitor to the PGA Tour.

In an interview given in November but only published last week, however, Mickelson suggested he was willing to use the threat of a breakaway as leverage against the PGA.

“We know they killed [journalist, Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” the 51-year-old said. “They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Speaking after Sunday’s Genesis Invitational, McIlory hit out at the six-time Major winner.

"I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant," McIlroy said.

"A lot of words to describe that interaction he had. It was just very surprising and disappointing, sad. I’m sure he’s sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here."

The Northern Irishman also added that he believes the breakaway plans are now “dead in the water”, after Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau - two of the most high-profile players yet to speak on the matter - confirmed their commitment to the PGA Tour.

"Who’s left? Who’s left to go? I mean, there’s no one. It’s dead in the water in my opinion. Yeah, I just can’t see any reason why anyone would go," McIlroy said.

"No one really knew where Bryson stood. I was really glad to see DJ and Bryson put out those statements this week. We all want to play against the best players in the world and they’re certainly two of the best players in the world."

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