The Northern Irishman said such a tournament did not “excite” him and suggested Saudi Arabia’s ongoing human rights issues were also to blame.
“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.”
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“Unfortunately, many of these sporting events take place without these countries addressing the root causes of their reputational problems such as longstanding and systematic human rights abuses against political dissidents and activists, foreign migrant workers, and women.”
McIlroy said he had no problem watching Saturday’s fight, but said he would prefer to turn out for PGA Tour events in the US instead of traveling to Saudi Arabia himself.
“I think the atmosphere looks better at the events on the west coast [of America] and I’d much rather play in front of big golf fans and play in a tournament that really excites me,” he added.
World No.1 Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are among the big names set to compete at the Saudi Arabia event, which is due to start on January 30, 2020.