Rory McIlroy: ‘I’m 23 years old, I’m still learning. I regret what I did but it’s over now’
RORY McILROY rebounded from the biggest crisis of his glittering career with a performance which suggested the 23-year-old might one day have a future in politics.
Okay, performance probably is the wrong word. McIlroy relied on the truth to carry him through yesterday's 24 minutes and 23 seconds grilling from 75 reporters in the media centre at Doral.
The world No 1 plays with his two closest rivals in the global rankings, Tiger Woods and Luke Donald, in today's first round of the Cadillac World Championship of Golf on the Blue Monster course.
Yet McIlroy's daunting task in front of a small forest of TV cameras and radio mics was to redeem his reputation as one of the most authentic stars in professional golf and salve last Friday's shocking events at The Honda Classic.
One can think of only two more eagerly anticipated press conferences in the US circuit, both of them hosted by Woods
The first was at Sawgrass in February 2010, when Woods reappeared after nearly three months' self-imposed exile after his life was rocked by scandal. The second was at the Masters that April, when Tiger's media briefing was ticket-only.
The Cadillac Championship organisers didn't have to go that far, though there wasn't a spare seat in the interview room at the Trump Doral Resort yesterday when McIlroy walked into the room and took his seat on the podium.
If he was nervous, McIlroy didn't show it.
Unlike last Friday, when conflicting reasons for his decision to walk out of the Honda Classic after completing just eight holes of an abject second round threw a dark shadow over his credibility, McIlroy carried a difficult day with an engaging mix of humility, honesty and humour.
His heartfelt apology was roundly accepted.