Rory McIlroy spoke in-depth about the Olympics, his controversial "grow the game" comments, Tiger Woods, and more in an interview with the Sunday Independent's Paul Kimmage. And that's just Part 1 of the wide-ranging Q&A.
You should read the entire thing, because it's fascinating, but here are some of the highlights. On those quotes about his role in "growing the game" that drew the ire of many this summer:
"Okay, I went a bit far," McIlroy tells Kimmage. "But I hate that term 'growing the game'. Do you ever hear that in other sports? In tennis? Football? 'Let's grow the game.' I mean, golf was here long before we were, and it's going to be here long after we're gone. So I don't get that, but I probably went a bit overboard."
On why the Olympics made him "uncomfortable" and what he texted Justin Rose after he congratulated him on winning the gold medal:
"I said: 'Justin, if I had been on the podium [listening] to the Irish national anthem as that flag went up, or the British national anthem as that flag went up, I would have felt uncomfortable either way."
Interesting. And then there's this crazy tidbit on his relationship with Tiger Woods.
"I’m drawn to him, yeah. He’s an intriguing character because you could spend two hours in his company and see four different sides to him. When he’s comfortable and he trusts you -- and his trust [sensitivity] is way [higher] than mine -- he’s great. He’s thoughtful. He’s smart. He reads. He can’t sleep so that’s all he does -- he reads stuff and educates himself on everything. But he struggles to sleep, which I think is an effect of overtraining, so I tell him to calm down sometimes. He’d be texting me at four o’clock in the morning: 'Up lifting. What are you doing?'"
Rory added that his fiancee, Erica Stoll, didn't appreciate the odd-timed texts. Can you blame her?
"Erica actually got pissed off with it. He was texting me in the middle of the night and I was like, 'Tiger is in the gym.'"
Of course, McIlroy could have just put his phone into "Do Not Disturb" mode, but we're glad he didn't. That story is too good.
According to the Sunday Independent, Part 2 of the interview next week will focus on "Four majors, a wedding and Augusta Fever." We can't wait.