McIlroy: Anyone That Says We're Underpaid 'Needs Their Head Examined'

Speaking to Sky Sports, the four-time Major champion also stated that 'there's nurses and teachers that should be getting paid a lot more'

McIlroy hits a shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, LIV Golf Investments and its CEO, Greg Norman, announced the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Comprising of eight events and a whopping $255 million purse, it appears that some players have reportedly jumped ship to join the Saudi-backed Super League, with the appeal of a large pay cheque swaying some on the professional Tours.

One player it hasn't swayed though, is Rory McIlroy, with the 32-year-old explaining to Sky Sports that those who think golfers are already underpaid "need their heads examined."

Speaking to Jamie Weir, McIlroy added: "I play golf for a living. There's nurses and teachers and they're the ones that should be getting paid a lot more. So, I just wouldn't feel right at all saying that I get underpaid for playing a game for a living. Like, I realise how fortunate I am and anyone that says otherwise needs their head examined."

McIlroy hits an iron shot

McIlroy has made $60 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just last week, the 32-year-old had already opened up on the PGA Tour's pay structure, with McIlroy stating that he doesn’t think it’s excessive, particularly compared to other athletes: “I think we're paid as much as people are willing to pay us, I guess. You can say the same thing about footballers or any other athletes. 

"It's like you could argue that they're paid too little or too much, but you're only worth what people are willing to pay you. I'd say at this point we're pretty fairly... we're fairly paid. The top guys earn a lot of money, and I think that's right. Even the guys that are not at the top, they still earn a really, really good living. I think it's a good structure.”

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Along with the comments on payment, McIlroy was also asked: "If it was Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk bankrolling a golf tour, would it be a reasonable debate to have?" In reference to where the money for the new Super League is coming from and the ongoing mix of sports and politics. 

The 32-year-old would respond, by stating: "I think so, and you know, I’ve raised those points before where you have to know that it's very hard to separate those two things anymore. People always used to say, you know, sports and politics, shouldn't mix and that, but in this day and age, I just think with everything that's going on, it's very hard to separate those two. So, there's certainly a part of it, that is to do with that."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x