Four-time major champion said watching 1999 Ryder Cup made him cry
BOSTON, Mass – Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy met with invited media via a wide-ranging 35-minute video conference Wednesday May 25, where his primary purpose was to introduce new app technology called GolfNow Compete.
McIlroy is a well-paid ambassador for the NBC Sports Next, GolfNow Compete app that in the press release states: “was developed to be an all-in-one app that makes any round of golf more fun and social with exclusive features and games that keep everyone engaged, while also helping golfers elevate their games with tools that help them play, navigate the course, keep stats and scores.”
Didn’t ask but do we assume the GolfNow Compete app helps his game?
The app might be a fine product but when you have access to the World’s No. 7 ranked player there are far more important things to talk about. And, as is McIlroy’s custom, the 33-year Irishman with 32 worldwide career wins was gracious, delivering sincere, well-thought out answers to a bevy of questions lobbed his way.
Do you plan to play any practice rounds at The Country Club before U.S. Open week starts June 13?
Rory McIlroy: I’m not sure yet. I’ve got this run of golf coming up where I’m playing Memorial, Canada and then go to Brookline. I’ve been to The Country Club once before. Obviously, it wasn’t a U.S. Open set up. I certainly didn’t play it when it was that tough so I’m looking forward to see how it plays. Not sure I’ll be able to get up there beforehand. I’ll get there on a Sunday night and have three good days to prepare for the tournament.
What are your expectations as your head into the third major of the year?
RM: I look forward to playing the U.S. Open in Brookline. What I will say about Brookline is its one of the only times where I’ve watched a golf tournament that I wasn’t a part of I cried. When Europe lost the Ryder Cup there in ’99 that was pretty emotional night for me watching that. So hopefully, I can go there and avenge that loss for Europe and try to win a trophy there.
When you set up your golf schedule how many weeks do you prefer as your longest stretch? Like 2-3 weeks then rest? Can you play 4-5 in a row?
RM: Yeah. I’m about to embark on four in a row, so I’d say four is my max. I’ve done four in a row that last couple years. I did four in row through the FedEx Cup then played in Switzerland in 2019. I would say ideally three, then I’ll have a nice little break before the Open Championship. The physical toll is fine, it’s more the mental toll of being out there four weeks in a row especially if you’re up there challenging for tournaments each and every time. That takes it out of you mentally.
Have you spoken to your mental coach Bob Rotella since the PGA? If so, what did you take from that chat?
RM: No, have not spoken but got a nice text from him Sunday night. He is always positive.
What are your expectations leading up to the U.S. Open and Open Championship?
RM: Well, there are a lot of positives to take away from the PGA. I’ve contended in three of the last four majors. I was tied for the lead at last year’s U.S. Open with 9 holes to play. Miles ahead of last and similar to 2019 that had four wins and player of the year. So far this year I have decent numbers, stats similar to that year and real good finishes and that’s a huge positive. There is consistency back in my game and if I stay patient those wins will come.
What advice do you have for junior golfers?
RM: Go out and have fun. Fun is the most important aspect of golf for junior golfers and I tell myself that all the time. Sure, scoring is important and I always want to turn a 70 into a 67 or a 67 into a 65. But I have to remember to have fun and making birdies makes me happy!
Watch the complete interview: