When Rory McIlroy started to play golf as a kid in Northern Ireland, he idolized Tiger Woods and quite literally worshipped the Irish fairways Woods had walked on.
Now, Woods has become less of McIlroy’s hero and more of his annoying friend who texts him at odd hours and wakes him up in the middle of the night.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Irish Independent over the weekend, McIlroy said that in recent years he and Woods have become close friends and competitors.
Oftentimes, this has meant McIlroy and his fiancee Erica have been woken up in the middle of the night because Woods has decided to text McIlroy from the gym.
From the Irish Independent:
“I’m drawn to him, yeah. He’s an intriguing character because you could spend two hours in his company and see four different sides to him. When he’s comfortable and he trusts you — and his trust (sensitivity) is way (higher) than mine — he’s great. He’s thoughtful. He’s smart. He reads. He can’t sleep so that’s all he does — he reads stuff and educates himself on everything. But he struggles to sleep, which I think is an effect of overtraining, so I tell him to calm down sometimes. He’d be texting me at four o’clock in the morning: ‘Up lifting. What are you doing?'”
This surely can’t thrill McIlroy, but it especially bothers his fiancee.
“Erica actually got pissed off with it,” McIlroy said. “He was texting me in the middle of the night and I was like, ‘Tiger is in the gym.'”
It’s not surprising that Tiger would be drawn to McIlroy. The two are similarly competitive, and have similar games (McIlroy, of course, built his off Woods in his prime).
Plus, as Woods sat out last season to recover from multiple back surgeries, he spoke regularly about missing the fraternity among PGA Tour players. He lamented not being able to compete to win tournaments, yes, but he also said he missed spending time with other golfers at various events shooting the breeze on the range and in the clubhouse, at dinner and on the course.
The closest Tiger could get to that, apparently, was texting Rory in the middle of the night.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.