Rory Is So Nice, He Even Has Time for Lebron
By Conor Nagle under US Open

Rory McIlroy during yesterday's practice round at Congressional

Rory McIlroy’s press conference yesterday generated more than its fair share of oddity, with questions covering everything from the Northerner’s recent trip to Haiti to his relationship with sporting ignominy’s own Lebron James.

On the subject of his relationship with James and the Miami Heat, McIlroy bridled a little at the suggestion that the contrast between the two, in terms of conduct at least, couldn’t be more marked.

“I’ve had a couple of texts from LeBron. We’re sponsored by the same watch company… so we’ve gone back and forth a bit. I’ve been to about seven or eight Miami Heat games over the last couple of years…

“I think he’s been unfairly scrutinized. Everyone is going to have bad days, if it’s on a golf course or on a basketball court. And with sports these days everything is over-analyzed, stats here, stats there, how has your team combined points in the last quarter of the Finals or whatever. It’s just one of those things.”

A powerful moral statement, there: like the biblical tale of the loaves and the good Samaritan… or something.

Aside from endless questions about the Masters and being young (how many more questions about ‘his generation’ do we need answered, really?), the world number eight was also asked about his recent play and the extent to which he felt he wasn’t taking advantage of scoring opportunities. The Memorial appeared a source of some frustration.

“I felt like after the start I made at the Memorial on the Thursday afternoon, going out on Friday morning with the best of conditions, I felt as if I could have… I could have been a few shots better going into the weekend. And it just felt like every time I sort of got myself into position I’d make a bogey or just miss it on the wrong side. And The Memorial especially, it punishes you for just missing it just in the wrong place.

“I just felt like I made — I made bogey on 14 on Sunday, but I made double on it as well on Saturday, I think. So I just felt like my game was really good, but it just wasn’t — I just couldn’t find that extra gear to get myself really into contention.”

McIlroy tees off tomorrow afternoon in the company of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

Conor Nagle