MEDINAH, Ill. – It didn’t take long for Rory McIlroy’s session with the media ahead of this week’s BMW Championship to drift back to memories from a chaotic afternoon at Medinah seven years ago.
Ryder Cup history might have veered in a different direction had McIlroy missed his tee time for Sunday’s singles’ matches, when Europe stormed back from a 10-6 deficit to capture the biennial matches. A time zone miscommunication caused wake-up issues for the Ulsterman, who ended up taking a ride to the course in a cop car aided by a police escort, arriving with minutes to spare.
McIlroy returned to Medinah a few years ago with former Ryder Cup teammate Luke Donald to reminisce about that memorable comeback, but this week marks his first competitive appearance at Medinah since those 2012 matches.
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“You know, they did offer (a police escort) to me. So whether I take them up on it or not, I’m not sure,” McIlroy joked. “Hopefully I won’t need it. We’re staying a little closer to the course this time.”
McIlroy admitted that he hopes a bit of the “good vibes” from that week will aid him at this week’s 69-man event, where he will tee off behind only Brooks Koepka and last week’s winner, Patrick Reed, in the points race.
McIlroy’s frantic commute to Medinah seven years ago ended up having ripple effects in his off-course life as well. The car was driven by his future wife, Erica Stoll, who was working the week as part of the transportation team. The two began dating shortly thereafter and got married in 2017.
“Erica that week was always the one that was checking us in and out. She was there at transportation, so she was always in the car park over there (by the clubhouse),” McIlroy said. “But yeah, it’s still cool to look around and think about that week, and obviously everything that’s happened since then. It’s pretty cool.”