Rory McIlroy said he did not agree with Phil Mickelson's assertion that the PGA Tour is "trending downwards" and added that golfers who joined the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf Series have thrust the sport into a state of flux.
The LIV Series, which launched in June, has lured away some of the sport's biggest names with enormous purses while those who joined the rebel circuit are no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour events.
Six-times major winner Mickelson said last week that he was happy with his decision to join LIV and that he had picked the "winning side".
"I don't agree with what Phil said - I certainly don't see the PGA Tour trending downward at all," four-times major winner McIlroy told reporters at Congaree Golf Club on Wednesday, ahead of the CJ Cup in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
"I don't think anyone that takes a logical view of the game of golf can agree with what he said ... The guys that went over to LIV, they're the ones that have made the disruption, they're the ones that have sort of put the golf world in flux right now.
"I guess for them to be talking the way they are, it's bold and I think there's a ton of propaganda being used and all sorts of stuff." (Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )