Reports that world number one Rory McIlroy did not play last week’s Australian Open because he wanted a bigger appearance fee have been dismissed by officials.
“I can confirm there was no agreement in place with Rory McIlroy or his management at any point for Rory to play in this year’s Open,” Golf Australia chief executive officer Stephen Pitt said in a statement.
“In addition to not having any agreement in place, at no stage were Golf Australia or tournament organisers advised by Rory’s management that his appearance costs had increased. This simply isn’t true.”
World Sport Group chief operating officer Andrew Georgiou added: “We have a very good relationship with Rory and his management team and Rory has played in a number of our events.
“At no stage had Rory or his management committed to play in Australia this year, so any commentary about appearance fees is totally irrelevant and clearly inaccurate.”
The 23-year-old’s manager Conor Ridge said: “We would like to thank Golf Australia and World Sports Group for clarifying that last week’s reports were totally inaccurate and without foundation.
“Both Rory and Horizon Sports Management value our reputation for professionalism and integrity. Hence, when such inaccuracies are reported in the media, we have an obligation to set the record straight.
“It has been five years since Rory last played in Australia, but he is very much looking forward to returning down there to play again in the near future.”