Jun
13
2012
Rory McIlroy takes his game to the pitcher’s mound, pretends to understand baseball
By Stephanie Wei under Rory McIlroy

Rory prepares for the Big Throw

Rory McIlroy has been working on his form in more than one sport. He’s not just been grinding on the driving range and prepping for the U.S. Open at Olympic, he’s mixed in a little throwing practice this week. The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland attended his first baseball game on Tuesday evening. He also threw the ceremonial first pitch at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

With 35,000 fans in attendance, McIlroy wasn’t too worried about getting booed if he didn’t reach the plate and the ball bounced up instead.

I definitely would rather get booed at a baseball game than on a golf course,” said Rory during his pre-U.S. Open press conference on Tuesday morning.

During his practice rounds and workout sessions, he’s been getting ready for the big pitch.

“I’ve been throwing a few golf balls on the course, threw a few medicine balls around last night at the gym, said McIlroy, who is looking to defend his U.S. Open title this week at Olympic. “It will be the first experience for me and I don’t know whether to play it conservatively and just lob it into his hand or go for the fast one.  I’m not sure.”

If Rory’s pitching form is anything like his game, then I’m sure he went with the latter. Well, we can kind of see for ourselves in this video below that Geoff Shackelford posted on TwitVid:

Looks a little outside and right, but he made it to the plate, which not everyone can say! Hopefully, his shot pattern is straighter and more precise at Olympic if he’s going to become the first player since Curtis Strange to win back-to-back U.S. Opens (’88. ’89).

Here now, we have a sequence of photos showing Rory’s form for the baseball gurus to analyze.

Rory winds up...

And the release...

In light of “Irish Heritage Night” at AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, fans received a souvenir that is supposed to look like Rory. I’m not really seeing the resemblance. Doesn’t sound like he did, either.

Asked his thoughts on it, McIlroy said, “I think it’s maybe better looking than me, which is a good thing.”

A proud owner of a Rory bobblehead

I think when you have a bobblehead, it means you’ve made it to the bigs.

To my understanding, Rory had never been to a baseball game, America’s favorite pastime. Now I wonder if he understood what was happening or if he studied a little bit and at least pretended. Well, I’m sure he knew enough. Do we have a converted fan? That will probably take a little more effort, but having a bobblehead of a doll that is supposed to resemble you is kind of a big deal. I wish I’d gone to the game just because I want a darn bobblehead! Strangely enough, I’ve never had one! (Translation: I’ll take yours off your hands.)

I’m going to the Giants game tonight for a special event featuring Dustin Johnson. It sounds like a cool experience. We even have to get to the ballpark by 3:30 this afternoon.

(Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson)