Leave it to Wozzilroy to spice up the news (a massive thank you, by the way!) during golf’s version of the “off-season.”
After Rory McIlroy opened with a 66 at the DP World Tour Championship — which he followed on Friday with a 67 to share the 36-hole lead with Luke Donald — he took the podium for what he thought would be the usual post-round press conference with the usual mundane questions.
Well, if you’ve ever thought some of our inquiries were awkward or annoying, then clearly you’ve never witnessed a significant other commandeering the microphone to interrogate a player about your Christmas present in front of the world media, no less.
I enjoyed reading the accounts of Wozniacki, the Danish tennis star, waiting her turn for the mic and the somewhat awkward exchange between her and Rory. I also cringed at her initial question, but his response was brilliant.
Of course, she was having some fun putting him on the spot and it was a cutesy moment…that supposedly went on for “ten seconds too long,” according to a reporter in the room. I like that she doesn’t hold back on giving him a hard time — gotta keep ‘em in their place, you know!
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You obviously have unbelievable support this week. So, you know, if you win this week, am I going to get a really nice Christmas present, and what am I going to get?
RORY McILROY: That’s great. I’ve got my parents here … (Laughter).
Have you not already got a lot of nice presents?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, Christmas is coming up, so‑‑
RORY McILROY: I have been looking. I have been looking. But yeah, I don’t think‑‑ it won’t take winning this week to buy you a nice present. I think you’ll get a nice present anyway.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, that must be because I’m an unbelievable cheerleader.
RORY McILROY: You’re a better tennis player. (Laughter).
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: That’s not nice.
RORY McILROY: No, it is. Anything else? (Directing question at the reporters, not Caroline.)
A smiling Wozniacki, dressed in all white, took the microphone from one of the reporters and asked McIlroy amid roars of laughter from the assembled media: “If you win this week am I going to get a really nice Christmas present?”.
The world’s number one golfer pulled his cap over his eyes before telling his girlfriend: “Have you not already got a lot of nice presents?
“I have been looking, I have been looking. But it won’t take winning this week to buy you a nice present – I’ll get you a nice present anyway.”
It drew another smiling response from the golf-watching Wozniacki: “That must be because I’m an unbelievable cheerleader”.
McIlroy prompted more giggles from the floor when he said: “You’re a better tennis player”, to which the Dane replied, “That’s not very nice”.
An expensive gift is sure to be heading Wozniacki’s way next month with the Northern Irishman having already banked almost $13 million in official earnings by winning the money-lists on both sides of the Atlantic.
McIlroy can add $1.33 million to his bulging account by landing the first prize here this week plus a $1 million bonus from the end-of-season prize pool.
McIlroy’s only awkward spells arrived as his day was drawing to a close. He hit his tee shot on the 18th into water, scrambling par from there, before an even more embarrassing few moments as McIlroy’s girlfriend, the tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, took the microphone at his post-round press conference.
Wozniacki’s mischief – and red face – making went thus: “If you win this week, am I going to get a really nice Christmas present? And what am I going to get?”
A brief exchange followed. “I have been looking,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think it would take winning this week to buy you a nice present. I think you’ll get a nice present anyway.”
Now I’m extremely disappointed in myself that I didn’t draw this obvious conclusion on my own, but it all made sense after I read Brian Keogh’s post (*slaps self on side of head–duh!*). Is she hinting that she wants a diamond for Christmas — as in a really nice engagement ring? With Rory’s good friend Graeme McDowell popping the question a few weeks ago, it’s not that crazy to wonder if the 23-year-old world No. 1 will follow suit.
I’m probably just fueling the rumors and speculation, but hey, it’s golf’s supposed off-season (no such thing as it is 80 degrees and sunny somewhere in the world). McIlroy is a practical lad and known for marching to the beat of his own drum (pardon the cliche), so I wouldn’t pin him as someone who would do something just because everybody’s doing it.
He always strikes me as someone who would want to wait until he was a little older. The couple is clearly madly in love, so again, an imminent engagement or a diamond ring for the holidays.
Okay, time for the rest of you to chime in with rampant speculation and baseless statements! What do you think Rory is getting Caroline for Christmas?? Meanwhile, I’ll resume analyzing putting stats from the 2012 season to draw
obvious interesting conclusions.
(Photo via Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.ie)