You've seen him play, you've heard him speak, yet it's still hard to imagine what life is like for golf's number one, Rory McIlroy. Speaking on an exclusive documentary for BBC Northern Ireland, Being Number One, McIlroy opened up on his fame, his young love, and stated why he may miss playing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Earlier this year McIlroy faced criticism after he revealed to a journalist that he may choose to play for Team GB in the 2016 Olympics. Coming from Northern Ireland, McIlroy understandably has ties to both Britain and Ireland, however, he confessed that he may not choose not to play in Rio at all, so as not to upset any fans who feel attached to his golfing achievements. Stating that he has three options: play for GB, play for Ireland or not play at all, when considering the question, the third appeared to be the most likely outcome at present.
McIlroy unusually spoke of his 18-month relationship with tennis star, Caroline Wozniacki, which has been the focus of media attention ever since the couple first became an item. Wozniacki opened up to the cameras by saying that she knew how McIlroy felt whether in contention or not, as she too feels the same pressure in her profession, though she reiterated that Rory had remained the same person throughout his sudden rise to fame.
Looking back on the Ryder Cup in Chicago last year where McIlroy showed up to the course with minutes to spare on the final day of play, Rory admitted that it was the most nervous he had ever felt before teeing off in a tournament. Clearly, the nerves didn't show as Team Europe soared to victory, all thanks to the world number one's appearance.
What was obvious from the documentary was just how much the pressure of being number one has had an impact on McIlroy's everyday life. Interviews, photographs and media scrutiny are now all part of an average working day. Showing clips of the US Open last year where McIlroy brought along a few pals to join him in San Francisco; it became clear that he occasionally misses the luxury of being an anonymous 23-year-old. That aside, cliché or not, McIlroy confessed that he is living his dream, with the added bonus of also playing for big pay cheques. However, despite a rumoured multi-million pound deal with Nike in the pipeline, McIlroy stressed that the money was not his priority. Instead, having the talent and opportunity to play a game he thoroughly enjoys for a living is what drives him on to succeed. No doubt all eyes will be on the young starlet this year as he attempts to conquer another major title, ensuring his position at the top of the game.