Rory McIlroy has admitted he was never as scared as when he nearly missed his tee-time on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.
In an exclusive interview with RTÉ’s Greg Allen, the world number one admitted he would not have made the course on time if it were not for state trooper Pat Rollins, who got him to the course with just minutes to spare for his crunch match with Keegan Bradley.
“On the Saturday night, before I went to bed, I was watching the Golf Channel and they posted the tee-times (for Sunday). But they posted them in Eastern time and we were in Central time in Chicago, so 12:35 Eastern is 11:35 in Chicago.
“I have never been so scared going to a golf course" - Rory McIlroy
“Next morning I get up and get out of the shower at 11am. I get a phone call from Conor, my manager, and he says ‘Are you at the golf course?’, and I tell him that I’m not.
“He says ‘You should be, you’ve got half an hour to your tee-time’.
“And I say ‘No, I’ve got an hour and a half, I’m off at 12:35. He says ‘You’re not. You are off at 11:35’.
“I have never been so scared going to a golf course. It was such a mad rush. Luckily there was a state trooper waiting for me and if it was not for him, if I was not in that car, I would not have made my tee-time.
“I actually played my best golf of the whole week on that Sunday!”
In a wide ranging in-depth interview McIlroy reflects on another glorious year and speaks, amongst other things, about winning the USPGA, getting to World Number 1, winning the Ryder Cup and living out the dreams he had as a boy.
Tune into the RTÉ Sports Awards 2012 in association with the Irish Sports Council on Sunday 23 December at 9.30pm on RTÉ One for more from Greg Allen’s exclusive interview with Rory McIlroy.
The full interview will be broadcast in a special programme on RTÉ Two on Thursday 27 December at 9.00pm, and will be available worldwide on RTÉ.ie/sport from 9.30pm.