While the golfing world continues to go berserk with events in Saudi, Rory McIlroy provided some welcome normality with his interview on Golf.com.
The interview with Dylan Dethier came about when McIlroy invited the journalist to walk a few holes with him rather than anything too structured.
And McIlroy was his usual open self, serving as another timely reminder that he really is one of the best things about the game. While others try to build their profiles with nonsense rivalries the Northern Irishman explained that he won't even look at Twitter.
"Instagram, yes. Twitter… no. I get some news from Twitter. I don’t have access to my Twitter account, so I just go on, like, “What’s Trending,” and find it there. The one thing I will say is the less social media in this world, the better. I see the merits of it but I think it has started to cause more harm than good."
McIlroy admitted that, while he misses his anonymity, he also appreciates the position that he's in.
"I try to wear it as well as I can, if that makes sense. No-one wears it as well as Steph Curry. Steph Curry loves being Steph Curry. And I love being who I am. But sometimes I resent it if I’m just trying to have a nice meal with my family or whatever. I’m not famous like Tiger Woods, but I’m probably more famous than most golfers, and I accept that."
So where's Rory's happy place? Well, there are two places.
"Being home is the fun. Being able to wake up and be like, ‘OK, what am I going to do today?’ That’s nice. I feel like our lives out here are so structured, like, I know what I’m doing at 1pm and at 2pm and so on. I think just being able to get away from that structure a little bit is nice. Having a little one, you’re at the mercy of their schedule but it’s great. So I get away from it and I be a dad. Oh, and I get in the gym a little bit, and try to stay active.
"And getting inside the ropes on tournament days, because it’s literally the one place on earth that no one can get to me. I don’t have my phone. I don’t have anything. I used to love long flights because I could turn my phone off. Now I even have Wi-Fi on the plane. The course is the one place where you can just be. It’s a cocoon for four or five hours. I really enjoy that."
If you want one final bit of proof that McIlroy likes the simple and good things in life then here you go.
"The week before the US Open at Shinnecock (in 2018). We played a bunch, rented this big house in Southampton, and there were quite a few of us there. The next week, at Hartford, we were staying in this run-of-the-mill Marriott — just me and Harry and Erica — and I’m like, “I like this better.” That was a big realisation."