No agreement ever in place for Rory McIlroy to play in AustraliaN Open
Last Updated: 13/12/12 10:38pm
Rory McIlroy: looking forward to returning to play again in Australia in the near future
Golf Australia have dismissed reports that Rory McIlroy did not play last week's Australian Open because he wanted a bigger appearance fee.
The world number one has enjoyed a stunning 2012, including winning the USPGA Championship by an impressive eight shots. He was also part of the European team that successfully retained the Ryder Cup in Medinah.
"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."
McIlroy's manager Conor Ridge is glad the record has now been straight, and admitted the 23-year-old was "looking forward to returning down there to play again in the near future".
"We would like to thank Golf Australia and World Sports Group for clarifying that last week's reports were totally inaccurate and without foundation," he said.
"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."