Truth & Rumors: Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els absent from Aussie Open due to appearance fees
According to a report by Australian Golf Digest, the absences of Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els from the Australian Open are both a matter of appearance fees.
Tournament promoters believed they had an "arrangement" with the Northern Irishman’s management for the 23-year-old to play the Australian Open in December.
But once the final putt was holed at Kiawah Island, the asking price for the new world No. 1 had escalated dramatically.
His appearance fee was about $1 million prior to the US PGA, upon winning a second, but major McIlroy’s asking price was twice that amount.
And that put him out of reach for Australian Open promoters.
It was another slap in the face following negotiations with Ernie Els, whose bounty rose after he won this year’s British Open.
Amongst the 156-player field are World No. 4 Justin Rose, Adam Scott, eight-time major winner Tom Watson, and 14-year-old amateurs Tianlang Guan and Andy Zhang.