Rory McIlroy has revealed how a Sunday morning nap could have cost him his chance of US PGA glory.
The world No 1, who romped to a record-breaking eight shot win at Kiawah Island, was so exhausted after a 5am wake up call to complete his third round that he almost overslept for his final round date with destiny.
It was a Ror on the Shore later that day but it could have been a case of Snory McIlroy for the Holywood ace had it not been for his dad Gerry.
Speaking to the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive yesterday, McIlroy explained: “It was such a long day. I had been up at five to finish my third round so we were in position at 7.45am.
“One thing people don’t know is that I went back home and I only showed up half an hour before the tee time for the final round.
“I actually took a nap and my dad had to come and wake me up because I overslept. He said to me, ‘Rory, you realise you’ve got to play some golf this afternoon.’”
McIlroy was due to tee off with Carl Pettersson and Bo Van Pelt at 1.45pm but only got to the course at 1.15.
Recalling his near miss with a chuckle, Rory said: “I didn’t know where I was. I was so tired.”
Unlike former US PGA champions like hell-raiser John Daly, McIlroy’s celebrations were very low key that he celebrated with “two diet cokes and cookie.”
The 23-year old, who follows a strict diet to stay in tip top shape, was in bed early he was so worn out after a stop-start week.
He said: “When I got back to the house after I won, there were a few people there and I let myself indulge in two diet cokes and a cookie! That was my party on Sunday night.”
The massive Wanamaker Trophy ended up next to him in his bedroom but it wasn’t overflowing with the remains of a boozy celebration though he did know how much it could hold.
“Keegan Bradley told me you can fit 17 and a half pints in it,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy is recharging his batteries this week after an emotional victory but it will be all systems go next week when he plays with Tiger Woods in the first two rounds of The Barclays, the first event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.
Their clash will be eagerly awaited following the comparisons between McIlroy and the 14-time major winner. And while they could also clash in future play-off events and next month’s Ryder Cup in Chicago, McIlroy revealed he will play Woods in a matchplay exhibition at Jinsha Lake Golf Club in Zhengzhou, China, on October 29.
Both will be in Asia the week before with Rory is scheduled to defend the BMW Masters in Shanghai,and Woods has committed to the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
McIlroy said: “We are going to play a one day exhibition just south of Beijing and it should be a lot of fun. It’s the first time I’ve ever really done something like this with Tiger so I think we are both looking forward to it.”
McIlroy confessed that he was both happy and relieved to silence his critics and capture his second major in 14 months.
Explaining his tears as he fell into an emotional hug with his father Gerry on the 18th on Sunday, he said: “I don’t know I think it was just walking up 18 and letting it all sink in and it was all a bit overwhelming because I feel like I have taken a bit of criticism over the last couple of months.
“To go out in a major championship a play the way I did and win the way I do felt a little overwhelming and I just saw my dad and he knows how frustrated I have gotten at times over the last couple of months.
“And just seeing him and he realised how much it means to me. Before I had even hit my putt on 18 I looked over at him and I nearly started to cry.
“I said, I need to concentrate. I thought two last putts but only needed one. I don’t know, it was just very emotional for some reason. There was just a lot of relief in there.
“I couldn’t get a word out. All he said to me was, stop crying. I think I said, oh my god can you believe this.
“To do it all over again and win majors in consecutive years at such a young age is something I didn’t believe was going to happen at the start of my career. It has and I am obviously very happy that it has.”