McIlroy’s ‘Succession’ plan speak volumes for the man

John Craven

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I found myself doing something I never thought I’d do… I was criticising Rory McIlroy.

Tired of seeing him rolled out before the media, I’d reached saturation point for the PGA Tour’s pontificating, and by consequence, I’d had quite enough of their unofficial spokesman from Holywood GC.

With Commissioner Jay Monahan absent at the helm, and major changes afoot across the organisation, I wondered aloud why it was Rory McIlroy’s job to play the role of Logan Roy, and not someone who’d worked and studied and climbed to a seat of such power.


For those unfamiliar, and God help you reading this article if you are, but Logan Roy is the billionaire founder of media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo in HBO’s hit-series Succession. Said to be loosely based on the Murdoch empire, Logan is the head of the dynasty and he’d do anything to retain his position, especially at the expense of his despicable kids.

Raised without knowing the meaning of ‘no’, Logan’s cretinous offspring ooze entitlement. They’re obnoxiously spoiled, morally bankrupt and reprehensibly ignorant, and their very existence ensures future generations of humanity will suffer as they breed.

Needless to say, it makes for great tv and the series returned for its fourth and final season earlier this week, but not before NoLayingUp’s TrapDraw Podcast managed to squeeze in an hour long preview episode boasting an extra special guest, none other than Mr. McIlroy himself.

Now of all the multi-multi-millionaire global superstars around the world that I don’t know, I’ve always related to McIlroy the most. Honest to a fault, highly self-aware and remarkably grounded given his celebrity, I’ve always admired McIlroy, which made me feel all the more confused about my indifference towards him of late.

I never expected us to fall out for I owe McIlroy a great service. You see, when I travelled to Australia for a couple of years in 2013, he provided my Mam with comfort. In need of a surrogate son to fill the gap – the three existing ones unwilling! – in Rory she saw a little bit of me and stayed up each night watching the PGA Tour despite knowing feck all about it.

Why McIlroy? I guess we both liked golf and were around the same age. The comparisons stopped there. That was until he revealed his love for Succession.

With the guys at the TrapDraw promoting two of my favourite things, pressing play on the podcast was easy and sure enough, McIlroy’s aforementioned self-awareness shone through in the first act:

“When KVV [Kevin Van Valkenburg – Editor at NLU] approached me and said, ‘hey, I’d love you to come on the pod’, I thought that would mean talking golf… but this was unbelievable.

“I think people have really heard enough of me talking golf the last couple of years so I was all in on this!”

And he was all in. McIlroy like you’ve never seen him before. Far from the most dominant voice in the room, at times the hosts talked to each other like he wasn’t even there – which was refreshing – McIlroy content to chime in with his own observations as if the four lads were just swigging a beer next to each other on the high stool. It was this version of McIlroy switched off from work mode that was key to what came next…

I’m always amused on social media when a transcript of an awkward back and forth between player and reporter appears for scrutiny. Nine times out of ten the “journalist” has fluffed their lines, and the pile on goes something like, ‘you have one question for the best golfer in the world and this is what you came up with?!’

To this day I’m not sure what the critics expect. Perhaps it’s an original thought moulded into a probing question that pierces the soul of an interviewee only to elicit a response so powerful that all the raised hands in the press room retreat, for no follow-up question could ever be enough.

Well, this podcast is about as close as you’ll get to that question…

Step forward Mr. DJ Pie who, astutely observing McIlroy’s ferocious wealth, asked; ‘Rory, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you have a lot of money, but the Roy’s have A LOT of money, and I’m curious how you feel about that disconnect when you’re watching the show?’

To which McIlroy replied: “For me, now that I’m a father and I’ve got a daughter who’s going to grow up in a lot of money, it’s like, ‘how do I not f*ck her up?!’

“You see these children and you’re like, ‘Oh My God!’

“And it’s not just Succession. Obviously this is a bigger theme around the world and you want to give your kids enough to help them on their way but you get into this sort of stuff – hopefully Poppy’s not going to have any power struggle with siblings over whatever – I don’t think I’ll have a Waystar RoyCo sort of company – but it gets me thinking, jeez, whenever kids grow up in these environments with these things, and growing up around kids with similar things, you must become so numb to it.

“In my mind, it gets me thinking, I have this little daughter who’s not even three years old and I think, ‘how am I going to make sure she’s not as f*cked up as these kids?’”

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit trawling through transcripts of Rory McIlroy musings in the name of research. For me, ‘How do I not f*ck up my kid?’ is more enlightening than anything he’s ever come out with, and that’s saying something given he’s one of the most genuine interviewees in sport.

So kudos to the TrapDraw for one hell of a scoop. And for having the balls to invite the world’s best golfer on an hour long podcast and not talk about golf. You should give it a listen; escapism from the golf world provided by a bunch of lads immersed in the golf world, and McIlroy, clearly craving such a departure, not only fully bought into it, but he reminded me why he’ll always be the one I relate to the most.

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