Rory McIlroy prices himself out of Australian Open

David Cannon

Rory McIlroy has made a big deal about needing a break from golf after a hectic 2012 season. Had tourney organizers coughed up a reported $2 million appearance fee, however, the newly crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year would apparently be playing in the Australian Open this week.

McIlroy reportedly had a tacit agreement with event coordinators to play this week’s contest at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney for a cool mil, but his rate doubled after he won the PGA Championship in August, according to a story from the Australian Golf Digest on Tuesday. The publication reported that Aussie Open negotiators ran into a similar problem with Ernie Els, who upped his asking price after winning the British Open in July.

While Tiger Woods made a pit stop at last year’s Open on his way to the Presidents Cup, this year’s edition boasts fourth-ranked Justin Rose as its marquee player. Also on the guest list -- Adam Scott, sans his broomstick putter; the ageless Tom Watson, who won the event in 1984 when he was 35; and 14-year-old Masters qualifier Guan Tianlang, who brushed off the upcoming anchored putting ban as no biggie.

“I don’t think it will be a big problem for me because I do pretty well with a short putter too,” Guan said prior to the start of the 72-hole competition, according to reports. “Also, it only happens in four years, so there is plenty of time still.”

The youngster may want to consult a calculator, since the USGA and R&A proposed that the ban on anchored putting strokes take effect at the start of 2016, and the PGA Tour may enact it sooner than that.

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