Rory McIlroy rejects invitation and appearance fee to play in Saudi Arabia event

Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd
Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd

Rory McIlroy has ruled out competing at next month's European Tour event in Saudi Arabia.

Fifteen-time major winner Tiger Woods revealed last week that he had turned down an invitation to play in the second edition of the Saudi International.

World number one Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson - who won the inaugural tournament in February - and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson are among those who will compete in the event which gets under way on January 30.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has been described as "heinous" by Amnesty International.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, who refused to deny a report that he had been offered a 2.5million US dollars (£1.9m) appearance fee to play at the Saudi International, told the Golf Channel: "It's just not something that would excite me.

"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 (of USA) and I'd much rather play in front of big golf fans and play in a tournament that really excites me."

Britain's Anthony Joshua won his heavyweight boxing title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh at the weekend.

The Middle East country can also count Formula E and WWE Wrestling among its growing sporting portfolio, with World Snooker set to go there for the first time in 2020.

Most Read

Our live coverage of Manchester City v Manchester United from the Etihad Stadium.1

City 0-1 United LIVE!

Join us for our live coverage of Manchester City v Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United2

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

The countdown to Cheltenham continues
3

WATCH: Cheltenham Countdown

Check out the latest expert opinion from Ben Linfoot and Matt Brocklebank as the build-up continues to the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

Check out the latest tips preview4

Thursday's racing preview

Astrozone rates as one of the better bets on the card at Southwell on Thursday, according to Nick Grant.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day5

Daily Nap: Dingle all the way

Matt Brocklebank fancied Rex Dingle and Jeremy Scott to team up to good effect in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle at Wincanton.

Most Read

Our live coverage of Manchester City v Manchester United from the Etihad Stadium.1

City 0-1 United LIVE!

Join us for our live coverage of Manchester City v Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United2

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

The countdown to Cheltenham continues
3

WATCH: Cheltenham Countdown

Check out the latest expert opinion from Ben Linfoot and Matt Brocklebank as the build-up continues to the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

Check out the latest tips preview4

Thursday's racing preview

Astrozone rates as one of the better bets on the card at Southwell on Thursday, according to Nick Grant.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day5

Daily Nap: Dingle all the way

Matt Brocklebank fancied Rex Dingle and Jeremy Scott to team up to good effect in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle at Wincanton.

Racing Tips

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Dingle all the way

Matt Brocklebank fancied Rex Dingle and Jeremy Scott to team up to good effect in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle at Wincanton.

Check out the latest tips preview

Thursday's racing preview

Astrozone rates as one of the better bets on the card at Southwell on Thursday, according to Nick Grant.

The progressive Ply is fancied to complete a hat-trick at Kempton Park

Wednesday's racing preview

David Clough makes Ginger Fox his best Wednesday bet and has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK.

Next Race Off

21:25 Tampa Bay Downs
7
(7)
Souper Courage
J: Antonio Gallardo
3
(3)
Snow Lion
J: Samy Camacho
8
(8)
Drillomatic
J: Daniel Centeno

Football Tips

Trainer Harry Fry

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in January 2020.

We look ahead to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Manchester City and Manchester United

Man United to be inspired?

Free Carabao Cup semi-final tips, prediction and best bets for the Manchester derby second leg, as Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.