RORY McILROY has warned his Ryder Cup pals who are taking part in the Saudi Arabia-backed Breakaway Tour for the money: It won’t end well.
Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell all play in today’s controversial opener of the LIV Invitational Series in St Albans.
US stars Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed will also join the Rebel League.
Poulter and Westwood have urged Ryder Cup bosses not to ban them from the event.
But McIlroy explained: “Any decision you make in your life just because of money usually doesn’t end up in the right direction.
“Obviously, money is a crucial factor in many things in this world, but when it’s all about money, things never seem to go your way.
“I’ve had that a few times in my life.”
Six-time Majors winner Phil Mickelson, who was paid a staggering £160million to play, yesterday defended his participation in the Breakaway Tour after previously calling Saudi supporters a “creepy M*********** *” had branded.
But McIlroy added: “My stance on this was pretty clear from the start.
“It’s not something I want to be a part of. I definitely understand the guys, I understand their goals and ambitions.
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP OFFERS – THE BEST DEALS FOR NEW CUSTOMERS
“It’s her life and her choice, but I want to play on the PGA Tour against the best players in the world.”
The rebel tour has sparked a civil war in the sport, with players who signed up facing PGA sanctions.
McIlroy, 33, added: “It’s a strange time in professional golf. We need to see how that plays out and what the consequences are.
“Right now, I have no intention of ever doing that. I’m excited to play on the PGA Tour.”
Westwood’s 11 appearances make him Europe’s most experienced Ryder Cup player, while Poulter has dubbed himself ‘The Postman’ because he ‘always delivers’.
Both now face a ban but Poulter, 46, said: ‘I’d like to think this wouldn’t jeopardize that.
“It was a factor, but it’s an unknown risk, right. We don’t know how DP World Tour will see this.
“With all the golf I’ve played all over the world, in all different countries and on different tours, I don’t see why it should be any different.
“I definitely see other top players wanting to be a part of that.”
Westwood, who was expected to be named Europe 2023 captain before retiring himself from the competition, added: “I have to take that into account.
When it’s all about the money, things never seem to go your way.
“I’ll be 50 next April so I’m not sure about matchdays but captaincy could be in jeopardy.
“We are both members of the PGA Tour while we are on the European Tour.
“It hasn’t had an impact on people who have been captains in the past and LIV Golf is a different tour so why should it be any different?”
Westwood made no apologies for his decision to take the batter and a share of the £20m prize fund on offer at the Centurion Club over the next three days.
He added: “I’m a professional golfer, I do it for a living.
“If there’s a raise, at my age I’d be stupid not to take it.”
Westwood adopted the term “independent contractor” to justify his stance, pointing out, “We’ve all played in Saudi Arabia before, cleared by the PGA Tour and the European Tour have held events there. This is no different.”
However, the two felt less comfortable when asked if they wouldn’t play “anywhere in the world,” including Vladimir Putin’s Russia or South Africa during the apartheid era.
Poulter said: “That’s speculation. I don’t need to answer that.”
Westwood reiterated, “We cannot answer a hypothetical question.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5520638/rory-mcilroy-warning-liv-golf-bryson-dechambeau/ Rory McIlroy warns LIV Golf ‘not a happy ending’ as Bryson DeChambeau becomes latest money digger to join Rebel tour