You might be wondering if Tom Kim and Rory McIlroy’s Q&A can go on because they both had questions about achieving and celebrating when you do.
Before this week’s CJ Cup, Kim asked a 31-word inquiry that served as a great introduction to him. All of it was Kim. Although he has won twice on the PGA Tour since early August, he still exudes the aren’t-you-Rory-McIlroy (?!) aura because he is as much of a 20-year-old as he is great.
“Rory,” Kim began during McIlroy’s pre-tournament press conference, “I have a question for you. What’s it like having so much success as a young player? Coming out and many years on tour, how do you manage all that?”
After pausing for a few while, McIlroy responded in the manner befitting the 33-year-old wunderkind, contemporary superstar, and speaker of the PGA Tour house that he is.
“I didn’t have as much success as you’re having at such a young age,” McIlroy started. “Like I think when you start to have success at a young age, you’re going to — I think the biggest thing that I realized is managing your time. You’re going to be pulled in so many different directions.
“You’ve got one, two, three, four, I can see five sponsors on you at this point, right? So it’s just trying to manage your time to realize what got you to this position, right? Why are you a two-time PGA Tour winner; why are you such a great player? And it’s the time that you put into it and it’s the practice, it’s not losing sight of that. I think that’s the thing.
“I was speaking here just before you came in that I’ve almost found it easier to get to No. 1 in the world than staying there. I think staying there is harder. I think you’ve got a bull’s-eye on your back. You’ve got to work harder; everyone’s coming after you. That’s the one thing I would say is just managing your time and not forgetting why you’re in this position and why you’re so lucky to get to play with me the next two days.
“And that was a joke that went over everyone’s head.”
Nice stuff. McIlroy was correct, too. He and Kim were placed in the same group during the CJ Cup opening round on Thursday along with Rickie Fowler. Each shot was 66 at five under.
Then Todd Lewis of the Golf Channel put them in front of the cameras.
McIlroy also asked about beer.
“Tom, this is the first time you and Rory have been in the same group on the PGA Tour,” Lewis started as Kim began to smile, with McIlroy inches to his left. “You have played a practice round together. How would you describe your strengths out there today?”
“I mean, it was really, really fun for me,” Kim said. “Obviously our lines were very, very different off the tee. [McIlroy looked away at this point.] I can’t say enough about how amazing it was to see his game, and it was a privilege. So we had some fun out there and obviously playing well helps.”
“Rory, yesterday during your press conference, Tom came in and kind of hijacked the press conference a bit and asked you a question,” Lewis said. “I’m going to give you a chance to return the favor. Is there something you would like to ask Tom?”
Both of them grinned.
“Wow”, Kim exclaimed. “Wowwww.”
“Ohhhh, jeez,” McIlroy said. “Thanks for putting me on the spot here, Todd. [Kim raised his hand to face at this point.] Yeah, I have no idea. [Kim laughed at this point.] I don’t know what to ask him. I said, oh, when do you turn 21? This isn’t a question; it’s a conversation. He goes, oh, I turn 21 next June. I’m like, I’m going to be 34 years old before he’s allowed to have a drink in the United States so … Yeah, that’s a — your two PGA Tour wins, did you sneak a beer in there or no?”
“I did not,” Kim said.
“You did not?” said McIlroy.
“I did not,” Kim said.
“All right, when you turn 21 and you win your next PGA Tour event, I’m going to bring you out for a few drinks,” McIlroy said.
“Oh, that’s awesome,” Kim said.
“All right, Rory’s buying. How about that?” stated Lewis.
The discussion then returned to the golf after another query.
“The PGA Tour, Trevor, is in very good hands, the present and the future of the Tour right there,” announcer Steve Sands said.
“Yeah, it sure is,” analyst Trevor Immelman said. “I will say that it appears Todd’s job is safe. McIlroy… think on his feet and come up with a question.”
“World-class player,” Sands said. “Let’s leave the interviews to Todd Lewis.”
Original article posted on Golf.com
(Photo: Nell Redmond/USA TODAY Sports)