Rory McIlroy Nearly Missed His $1.4 Million Payday

by | May 12, 2021 | Golf

rory mcilroy

Rory McIlroy won more than $1.4 million this weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow this weekend. I would say that is an alright payday for four days of work. It was the first win for Rory since 2019 and the drought is finally over. But, it almost never happened. His great victory and the epic 18th hole almost vanished before the tournament ever began. 

Rory says that during a Wednesday driving range session, he hit a ball and turned quickly to talk to his caddie. 

“I hit a 3‑iron, flushed it and I turned back to talk to Harry (Diamond, his caddie) and as I turned, my left side of my neck just completely locked up and I couldn’t move it,” McIlroy said. “It was really, really strange.”

He says that he immediately went and got treatment and tried to loosen up the muscle. On Thursday, he woke up and felt a bit of the same. So, he rinsed and repeated. Thankfully, a late tee time gave him the opportunity for more treatment and more rest. When he headed out for the first hole on the first day of the tournament, he was wearing tape on the back of his neck that was meant to relieve pain. 

“If I had been playing Thursday morning, I probably would have pulled out, but I had enough time to get treatment Thursday morning, get it loosened up. It was still bothering me on Thursday afternoon. People probably saw the tape that was on my neck, but it sort of loosened up as the week went on.”

Thank god he toughed it out. Not only for his bank account but also for his confidence. For a golfer on tour who goes on a drought of 18 months like Rory did, it can be unsettling. Rory is not an average pro who picks up wins here and there in between years. Rory is one of the greatest golfers we have seen over the last two decades and took the golf world by storm when he first hit the scene. 

It was exactly 550 days since his last win and when you throw a pandemic in the middle of that, it can be a bit jarring how long that must have really felt for the pro. Rory has four majors already in the bag and this was his 19th win that he picked up with the win at Quail Hollow, hopefully a boost for him moving forward. 

“It’s certainly great timing. This is obviously a huge confidence boost going in there knowing that my game is closer than it has been. I’ll be able to poke holes in everything that I did today, it’s certainly far from perfect, but this one is validation that I’m on the right track.”

Next up is Kiawah, a place where Rory has found tons of success in years past. He won the 2012 PGA there by eight shots and has had great outings since that tournament as well. 

By: Matt Lively