Saturday 20 January 2018

WATCH: 'I tried to wiggle out of some questions' - Rory McIlroy on awkward interview with cheeky child reporter

Rory was left in stitches
Rory was left in stitches

Phil Casey

Most players might not be that keen to talk to the media after seeing their chances of winning a tournament suffer a potentially-fatal blow on the 18th hole.

But for world number two Rory McIlroy it was more appealing to face some of the world's press in Dubai than it had been answering questions from a nine-year-old.

As part of the European Tour's 'Little Interviews' series, schoolboy Billy Jenkins quizzed McIlroy on a wide range of topics ahead of the defence of his DP World Tour Championship title.

And they included the potentially prickly subjects of McIlroy's withdrawal from the Olympics, whether Tiger Woods offers better chat-up lines than golf advice, his relationship with US president-elect Donald Trump and his failed engagement to tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

McIlroy did not know the questions in advance, but perhaps had some idea of what he was letting himself in for after being approached by European Tour chief press officer Michael Gibbons.

"Gibbo gave me a call the week before and said, 'Look, how close to the bone can we go?'" McIlroy said. "I said it's fine. I'll take it well. I don't mind laughing at myself and it was going nicely at the start with a couple of [my old] hairstyles.

"I thought, that's actually not too bad, I don't mind laughing about this. Then he got on to some other stuff and I thought, 'Oh, Christ!'

"I definitely had to put my thinking hat on a couple of times and try to wiggle out of a couple of them as best I could.

"I had a lot of fun doing it, even though a nine-year-old was taking the whatever out of me. We were supposed to do it for half an hour and I was there for an hour and a bit. It's great to do things like that. It's nice to be able to show people I can still laugh at myself."

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