Rory McIlroy has sparked controversy again by saying that a World Golf Championship trophy, which contains a prize of $1 million, is more important to him than the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy, who was picked by Captain Colin Montgomerie to play in the annual tournament between Europe and the U.S., previously caused upset when he branded the Ryder Cup as ‘an exhibition.’
This time, he said that the Ryder Cup was way down his list of golfing priorities, behind winning any one of the major golf tournaments or one of the four World Golf Championship titles, which are considered significantly lower than the majors but which carry massive prizes.
"If somebody asks me whether I'd rather sink the winning putt in the Ryder Cup or win a major, it's the major every day," he said.
McIlroy, who is currently ranked eighth in the world, has played in team golf tournaments before and called them “special,” but he considers individual golf to be superior.
"When I was a kid growing up practising I never had a putt to win the Ryder Cup. I always had a putt to win the Masters or the Open – it's just the way I feel."
'Obviously it's my first experience (of a Ryder Cup) and one I'm going to try to enjoy. Hopefully the adrenaline will make me play well.
Graeme McDowell, McIlroy’s friend, reckons the younger man will change his mind once he gets out to play.
'Of course it's different from a major and a WGC - it's not an individual win - it's just something a bit special,” said McDowell.
'It's always been something that's pretty close to my heart. I think when Rory gets out there and feels it next week he'll maybe have a different view on it.’