The 98th PGA Championship started officially yesterday at historic Baltusrol, Springfield, NJ. There, we had the opportunity to speak with major champion golfer Rory McIlroy, who is also brand ambassador for Omega Watches. Omega serves as the Official Timekeeper for the PGA Championships and opened a Planet Omega exhibition at the course that showcases the brand’s diverse worlds of sports, moon and sea exploration and Olympic timing. It was in the Planet Omega exhibition space that we spoke briefly with McIlroy about the course and about time.
HT: How does time play a role in your life off the course?
RM: “I would say off the course more than anything else, time management is a big part of my life. Planning every day and being structured is not easy. People get a glimpse into our lives, and see us at a certain place, but they don’t think about everything else that we might have to do that day, and it is often a lot, so time management is a big thing. Especially, also, as I become higher profile and have to do an event here and an event there, it becomes more important to manage that time. Finding time for yourself is also important; you’re dragged all over the place and being able to have that 30 minutes a day or so to yourself to decompress is really important. So away from the golf course- time is huge.”
HT: How does time influence you when you are on the course?
RM: “On the course, I lose all sense and track of time when I’m on the course. I don’t really care how long it’s taking; I don’t care how many hours we are on the course. I am there, I’m in the moment, and the last thing I am thinking about is what time it is. It is really just about giving it my all. I think that is the best thing to do. If you lose track of time. it means you are completely immersed in what you are doing, and I think that is when you perform your best.”
HT: Can you share the longest moment of your life with us?
RM: “When I nearly missed my tee time at the Ryder Cup in 2012. I looked at the tee times on the TV the night before and they were displayed in eastern time, but we were in Chicago, in central time, and I got mixed up. That car ride from the hotel to the golf course was probably one of the longest moments of my life.”
As to this weekend’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol, McIlroy noted that he was surprised by the large greens of the Baltusrol course. “It has very long fairways and is really a pretty long golf course. The greens are very big and pretty flat. There will be a lot of playing on the greens, and I think is going to be an exciting weekend.”