At 26, golf's top-ranked player continues to dominate, with two wins in the last three weeks, including a record 21-under, 267 victory on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship.
DAN PATRICK: When's the last time you had to pay for your own beer?
May 25, 2015
RORY MCILROY: Probably last weekend.
DP: If we're playing golf, could we have a couple of beers?
RM: Of course, if you want to have a little bit of fun and make it more enjoyable.
DP: We can wear plaid pants, have a cigar and drink beer?
RM: You can drink beer, but I don't know about the plaid pants. If cigars are your thing, that's fine.
DP: Can you tell a bad golfer by how he dresses?
RM: You get an idea. You have these guys who think if they dress the part, that's going to help them. Usually that's not the case.
DP: How important is being in good shape to you?
RM: Golf has progressed a lot. It has become more of an athletic sport. You don't need to be built like a linebacker, but you need to have stability and strength in certain areas of your body. If more golfers look athletic, it portrays a much better image for the game. That encourages kids to pick up a club. Maybe it encourages their parents to get them into golf as well. Fifteen, 20 years ago, the image of golf wasn't athletic. Tiger has changed that.
DP: Did it bother you to see Jordan Spieth on the cover of SI after he won the Masters?
RM: He deserved to be on it. To win the Masters at 21? To do it the way he did it? It was a phenomenal performance. It definitely inspired me. I'm really happy for Jordan. He's a great guy. I've gotten to know him pretty well. I'm expecting more of that in the future. I know I'm going to have to work hard to stay ahead of him and try to beat him.
DP: Can a rival help you get better?
RM: If you look at some of the other sports and rivalries, like tennis with Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal], they made each other better. Phil [Mickelson] made Tiger better. It inspired me to see what Jordan did at Augusta. It inspired me to have a little bit more edge and a little bit more intensity. It's been nice to pick up a couple of wins in my last three starts. I'm sure that will spur Jordan on as well.
DP: What else do you do well besides golf? Do you play soccer?
RM: I'm O.K. at soccer. I played growing up. People find this surprising, but I'm really not that competitive at anything else. Golf is my vehicle for something to be better at than anyone else.
DP: Who could bench more, you or Tiger?
RM: Tiger, I think.
DP: You paused there, like you weren't sure.
RM: [Laughs.] I was just thinking I probably have shorter arms so I don't have to move the bar quite as far as he does.
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