Whoop, there it is. McIlroy reveals Watney’s wrist band hinted at covid concern

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy. By Getty Images

It came to light around this time last year that Rory McIlroy had added to his fitness make-up in the form of a wristband called a Whoop.

What is a Whoop?

Essentially, it’s a wearable device that analyses strain, recovery and sleep on an athlete’s body. McIlroy was first spotted wearing the device at last year’s Memorial Tournament.


It now turns out Nick Watney also wears a Whoop strap and it was respiratory issues detected by the strap that led to the American golfer being diagnosed with Covid-19 symptoms that forced him to withdraw ahead of round two of the RBC Heritage Classic.

Watney had been speaking with McIlroy, at a distance, on Friday morning ahead of learning the 34-year old had tested positive and was quick to text the world number one straight after McIlroy had completed his second round around 5pm local time Friday.

And McIlroy has shed further light on how wearing a Whoop strap first alerted Watney to any health issues.

“Nick said the thing that got him Friday morning was he wears a Whoop strap and there are a lot of us, we wear these Whoop straps on the wrist or on the biceps,” said McIlroy.

“One of the big tell-tale signs that they’ve found over the last few weeks, they’ve done studies where, if your respiratory rate goes up during the night by more than two breaths per minute, that’s sort of a tell-tale sign that you might have something.

“So, it was actually his Whoop that told him his respiratory rate went up, and that’s why he thought maybe I could have it. I looked at mine this morning just to see what my respiratory rate was okay and you go from there.

“This virus isn’t about — you know, most people that get it that are healthy are going to recover from it and be okay, but it’s the people that you can infect. That’s the big risk. I’d like not to think that people, if they were symptomatic, that they wouldn’t report.”

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