Ep. 17: A Chat with Rory McIlroy

July 21, 2021

Golf favorite Rory McIlroy turned professional in 2007, and within a few short years took the golf world by storm.

He won the U.S. Open in 2011 and grabbed his second major the next year, by winning the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah. In 2014 he won the PGA again as well as his first Open Championship, July 2014 Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Merseyside, England.

But the 32-year-old golf giant is also playing in this year’s Olympics. An dight before Rory left for Tokyo, we spoke at length about his time growing up in golf, as well as mental health in sports and who his golf idols were as a kid.

Winning big, growing up in golf

McIlroy says that one of the first things he did after he found success in professional golf was to go buy a Ferrari. “I thought having a Ferrari was the symbol of success.”

But he adds that growing up in the game of golf made him perhaps mature faster and make sure to have smart people around him.

McIlroy said during our interview right before The Open, that he’s focused on investing in a variety of upstart companies and different assets, including health provider Life Stance.

Inside golf, Rory has been massively successful and is inspiring a new generation of golfers. So far (as of July 2021) he has spent 106 weeks as the world No. 1 and when not the top dog is always among the top 15 golfer on the PGA Tour.

But Rory also hints that having a good work-life balance is as essential in golf as it is in business and daily life.

The Open and Olympic golf

When asked which of the four majors he likes the most, Rory McIlroy did not surprisingly say The Masters. The Open Championship, aka the British Open, is the one major that Rory says he always wanted to play and win.

“It’s the one I dreamed of of winning, growing up, and the first one I ever attended as a kid,” he said.

The Open Championship, which was held this year at Royal St George, is also one of the three biggest events (and four total majors) Rory McIlroy has won, having grabbed the top prize at The Open in 2014.

Now that all four of 2021’s majors are competed, there’s one other golf event this year that Rory McIlroy is psyched about: The Olympic Games.

“I’m planning to go to Tokyo, and I will be representing Ireland,” McIlroy said in June. He explained that long before golf was readmitted in to the Olympics, in 2016, he spent his amateur days competing for Ireland.

“I just decided to continue what I’d always done and to play for Ireland, since there was no reason to change that,” McIlroy added.

Read the edited version of the interview with Rory McIlroy at Forbes.

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