McIlroy: Is his focus on winning a green jacket or boosting CBS Masters ratings?

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy - Masters media

Is Rory McIlroy out to win a first Masters or boost CBS coverage of the year’s opening men’s major?

For the golfing purists it would seem out of character that the green jacket brigade at Augusta National would agree to such a request and that is ‘Bluetooth’ a player for live on-course coverage, and also to choose Rory McIlroy to take on the role.

Surely, McIlroy’s had enough on his plate of late in the lead-up to this 87th hosting of the Masers without then agreeing to go live on CBS TV?


And what a time to pick to introduce the world to a Masters first, while McIlroy was playing his second shot down the ninth hole, and then the audio of McIlroy still chatting away in walking-up to mark his ball on the green, ahead of a birdie putt.

McIlroy missed the putt, and while there were those jumping onto the social media praising this first, there were others wondering what the hell McIlroy, his caddie and his management team were thinking of in agreeing to such a move.

Yes, an ear piece is less intrusive than the procedures SKY Sports go through in wiring a player to be interviewed, and as McIlroy said, ‘it was a cool thing to do’ but that’s not the issue here.

For example, McIlroy said after his round that in being interviewed by CBS he was worried more about what he was going to say than what was going to be asked of him. Surely, he shouldn’t be placed in such a position, to have even the smallest of such matters distracting him?

For once in my golf-reporting career that includes 23 visits to the Masters, I find myself agreeing with three-time Augusta winning Nick Faldo, who went onto this Twitter account saying: “Every interview I’ve done this week is all about giving 100% concentration to yourself and the task at hand, so why?”

Others tweeted: “Rory McIlroy needs to be doing mid-round interviews right now about as much as he needs a lift home off Greg Norman. That was plain weird.”

And another posed: “Anyone else wish Rory McIlroy would focus on shooting low instead of doing interviews half way through his round?”

On the other side there was those very much iin support of the move, and posting these tweets: “Rory McIlroy making Masters history speaking to CBS (and the world) on the green. Incredible insight and TV.”

Another argued: “Live interviews during rounds need to be a regular thing! Loved that from Rory.”

And then McIlroy was saluted for being the trailblazer: “More brilliant innovation in golf coverage. No surprise it’s Rory willing to give this a go.”

Call me old school but if McIlroy is going to break this run of now 14 Masters without a victory, he’s going to have to show all the determination, all the focus and all the will-power, and avoid any outside distraction.

Forget being buddy, buddy with Jim Nantz or Trevor Immelman and get on with the job again that brought you to Augusta National.

There’s a reason why Tiger’s won five green jackets and that’s the uninterrupted, not going to be distracted focus he exhibited.

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.