Rory McIlroy bristled at reporters in the Bahamas yesterday when he was quizzed over his DP World Tour Championship shirt-ripping antics.
McIlroy faced the press ahead of this week’s Hero World Challenge but didn’t respond kindly to questions about the now infamous photo of him in Dubai two week ago.
The four-time major champion blew a gilt-edged chance to win the European Tour’s season-ending event, faltering badly down the stretch to hand Open champion Collin Morikawa the title.
McIlroy’s troubles began on the 15th when his approach cannoned off the flagstick and ricocheted into a bunker. He failed to get up and down from there, before three-putting at the 16th. When he found water with his second shot on the 18th, his hopes of winning the tournament for a third time were gone.
He was subsequently pictured perusing his phone at a window on the premises, his polo shirt ripped open from the collar down.
This week is the first opportunity the media has had to speak to McIlroy since then and his feelings on the fuss created by the picture were obvious from the start when a reporter opened his presser by observing that his shirt was in “one piece”.
“It is," replied the 32-year-old. “It's another joke you tried to make that's not that funny.”
Pressed to explain what happened in Dubai, McIlroy was perfectly forthcoming.
“I was angry about was how I reacted to the bad break, not the bad break or the fact I didn't win the golf tournament, because Collin played great,” he explained. “Even if I hadn't had that bad break, there was no telling that I was going to win the golf tournament. It was just my reaction to that bad break that made me angry because I basically lost my head after that and made a bogey on 16. And then so it was more just angry at the fact of how I responded to that was my big thing.
“The fact that I didn't win the tournament was totally fine, but it was more just the reaction of what happened after the break on 15.”
But the questions kept on coming.
Asked how long it took to rip the shirt and when he had last done it, he replied: “I pulled on my collar and it ripped. I don't know if I've ever done it before.”
Finally, when he was asked what happened to the ripped shirt, he snapped.
“I went to the pro shop, bought a new one, threw that one in the trash. I mean, this fucking ripped shirt, Jesus.”
McIlroy has Morikawa for company in today’s opening round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club.