When in Hollywood

Rory McIlroy reveals he's one of those people who likes to visit famous places from movies

February 10, 2020
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll at the 2016 Ryder Cup.
David Cannon/Getty ImagesRory McIlroy and Erica Stoll at the 2016 Ryder Cup.

This week’s Genesis Invitational features a loaded field with nine of the top 10 players in the world competing at Riviera Country Club, including new (again) No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman has come to enjoy spending time in Los Angeles over the years—in his two appearances in the tournament the last two years, he has finished T-20 and T-4. He also seems to like getting away from the course, moonlighting apparently as a tourist.

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That’s among the things you can glean in the second installment of a series of fantastic interviews McIlroy has done with Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent, published on Sunday. In the piece, McIlroy discusses, among other things, taking on Tiger Woods at the 2018 Tour Championship, missing the cut at the Open Championship at Royal Portrush and winning the Players Championship.

Much of conversation provided insight into one of the best minds of the game. There was one other part that stood out, though.

In the interview, McIlroy recounted the days following another top-10 finish at a major championship, last year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and how he decompressed in L.A. in the days that followed. What did he and his wife Erica do?

“I’d never seen ‘Pretty Woman’ before—Erica had made me watch it earlier in the year—so I said, I want to stay at the Beverly Wilshire where they made ‘Pretty Woman’,” McIlroy told Kimmage. “It was nice. I like L.A. I wanted to go up to the Griffith Observatory where they shot ‘La La Land.’ I loved ‘La La Land’—it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Griffith Observatory stands in front of downtown Los Angeles and used in the filming of the movie "La La Land."

That’s debatable in our book—even if the flick received a record-tying 14 nominations and took home six Oscars in 2017—and even Kimmage, who’d recommended it to McIlroy, couldn’t hide a laugh. But go on.

“Yeah, I cried so much, like when they [Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone] do those two scenarios of what might have been—life with him or life without him—I was like phhhhhhhhh!” McIlroy said. “And I’m watching it with Erica thinking, Jeeze! What if things had been different for us? But the music … all of it … it’s just great.”

Kimmage’s response?

“Your mind is interesting,” the interviewer said.

Indeed. Can’t wait to hear what’s on tap for this year’s visit to Los Angeles.


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