Rory McIlroy brushes off pre-Ryder Cup bachelor party concerns: ‘I’m sensible when I need to be’
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This week Rory McIlroy is in Ireland for the Horizon Irish Open at the K Club, where he’ll try to maintain his generous lead in the DP World Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai standings. It’s a meaningful tournament for McIlroy and his family, but much of the golf world has already turned its attention to the Ryder Cup in Rome at the end of the month.
As a result, many of the questions McIlroy faced in his pre-tournament press conference touched on the biennial team event, where he’s expected to be a star for the European team.
But before he heads to Italy, he’ll fly to Mykonos, Greece, for some R&R in the form of a “stag do,” also known as a bachelor party on the western side of the Atlantic.
Concern has been expressed in some corners about whether his pre-Ryder Cup celebrations will impact his performance in Rome, but at the Irish Open McIlroy was quick to brush off those worries.
A reporter from The Independent opened the line of questioning at McIlroy’s press conference on Wednesday with a query about European captain Luke Donald.
“Speaking of bars, has Luke tried to talk you out of the stag do to Mykonos yet?”
McIlroy then offered a detailed explanation of his busy itinerary between now and Rome, including a stop at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next week, and suggested a short vacation with friends could be beneficial.
“I’m sensible when I need to be, I’ll be fine,” McIlroy replied with a wry smile streaking across his face. “Forty-eight hours, nice little trip, and probably needed as well. From here to the practice in Rome next week, to Wentworth, then I’ll get back in London on Wednesday evening, and then I’ll have four good days in London to practice and get myself ready to go to Rome on Monday.”
Donald also asked about his star player’s bachelor party plans during his own press conference at the K Club. Donald revealed that he spoke to McIlroy about the festivities during a recent visit to his home and that he’s similarly unconcerned.
“We spoke at his house maybe 10 days ago, just catching up with him and it did come up,” Donald said on Wednesday. “Rory, it’s not like Rory is 22 or 21. He understands. There’s nothing wrong in going out and have some fun with your friends. But I think he’s got wise enough shoulders to know that he won’t go crazy, so no concerns there.”
Later in his media session, McIlroy touched on a more physical concern, namely pain in his back that bothered him throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs, assuring everyone that he doesn’t expect the back to be a hindrance at the Ryder Cup.
“It’s ok, I would say it’s at 90%, 95%. It’s not 100% better,” McIlroy said. “I’m just having to take care of it a little bit, but it’s not preventing me from doing anything that I wouldn’t usually do.”
McIlroy tees off for the opening round of the Irish Open at 8 a.m. local time on Thursday (3 a.m. ET). Interestingly, he’ll play alongside a European pro who was controversially left of the Ryder Cup team: Adrian Meronk. Meronk begins the tournament in third place in the Race to Dubai.
You can watch McIlroy’s full Irish Open press conference here.