OAKMONT, PENNSYLVANIA | He had telegraphed his feelings clearly upon arrival. “I’m obviously excited to be here,” Rory McIlroy told us a few days earlier at Oakmont. But now after missing the cut he wasn’t saying anything other than, “I’m not talking.”
The U.S. Open had battered him into virtual silence.
No explanation from McIlroy. No justification. Just frustration that left him all but speechless and left the waiting reporters, well, waiting. He didn’t need to give the king’s speech, only a few words about what went wrong. What he gave was the brush-off.
Those at the top understand what comes with the territory. It’s not just the way you play golf that counts, it’s the way you play the celebrity game, selling the sport as you sell yourself.
Golf isn’t always going to be kind. You swallow your pain and pride and then stand before the microphone. Arnie did it. Jack did it. And despite a reputation for at times being uncooperative, Tiger did it, particularly when he missed a cut.
But at this 116th U.S. Open, McIlroy did not do it, did not tell us, or the fans who idolize him, anything after his last round other than, “I’m not talking.”
It was second time this year, along with the Honda Classic in February, McIlroy, normally chatty, humorous, personable, refused a post-round interview. So out of character for the young man. Or is it?
McIlroy came to the U.S. Open after a win at the Irish Open, which he hosted, and a tie for fourth at the Memorial.
“I feel as prepared as I can be coming in here,” was his gleeful comment on Tuesday. “I feel like I’ve got a good game plan. It’s just a matter of going out there and executing it.”
The weather was miserable the first day. For everyone. That’s golf, isn’t it? Wind and rain and bad lies. You zip up the Gore-Tex, buckle up the ego and slash away. Didn’t Rory win the 2011 Open at Congressional in a downpour? …..READ FULL ARTICLE