The four-time Major winner has reportedly turned down just shy of £2m to tee it up in Saudi

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McIlroy On Turning Down Saudi International: “I Just Don’t Want To Go”

Rory McIlroy has explained his reasoning behind turning down a huge pay cheque to compete at the 2020 Saudi International.

The European Tour event, in its second year, takes place at the end of January and McIlroy is reported to have been offered $2.5m just to tee it up.

The four-time Major winner, whilst speaking to the Golf Channel, said that the event doesn’t excite him, partly due to not having “big golf fans” on site to play in front of.

“It’s just not something that would excite me,” the 30-year-old said.

“You could say that about so many countries, not just Saudi Arabia, but a lot of countries that we play in that there’s a reason not to go, but for me, I just don’t want to go.

“One hundred percent, there’s a morality to it as well.

“I think the atmosphere looks better at the events on the west coast [USA] and I’d much rather play in front of big golf fans and play in a tournament that really excites me.”

Related: McIlroy defends Patrick Reed over Hero World Challenge penalty criticism

Rory committed to the PGA Tour at the start of this year and will likely be doing the same again in 2020 by the sound of it.

He played in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii at the start of this year before heading to Torrey Pines and Riviera in California for the Farmers Insurance Open and Genesis Open.

The 2019 FedEx Cup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year isn’t the only one to skip the Saudi International, as Tiger Woods has also turned down a huge appearance fee.

Woods’ fee was reported to be around the £2.5-£3m mark, with the 15-time Major winner saying, ““I just don’t want to go over there.”

Not everybody said no to the tournament though, as Phil Mickelson has committed along with defending champion Dustin Johnson and World No.1 Brooks Koepka.

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