Rory McIlroy's lengthy conversation with Paul Kimmage for the Sunday Independent was the best piece across yesterday's papers. It's a two-parter, with the second out next week. If you missed the first part, it's been posted online.
Included in the interview was a probing of McIlroy's relationship with Tiger Woods. McIlroy revealed theirs is a pretty strong friendship, so was well placed to tell a thing or two about one of the most endlessly fascinating men in sport.
Wright Thompson's long piece on Woods for ESPN last year was one of the best sports pieces of 2016, and from it tumbled forth myriad anecdotes which show Woods' true obsessive nature.
It didn't include this detail, however, as told by McIlroy. The Irish golfer explained to nobody's surprise that Woods is an utter obsessive and workaholic. Exactly how obsessive, however, is startling.
Kimmage asked McIroy if he liked Woods. Here's the response:
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?’
We're not sure whether we'd fancy getting late-night 'You awake?' texts from Tiger.
McIlroy came across brilliantly in the full interview, but Woods continues to fascinate. Endlessly.