Rory McIlroy ‘absolutely despises’ rival golfer more than Patrick Reed
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Rory McIlroy has revealed he “so despised” his golf rival Billy Horschel that the pair became friends.
McIlroy rose to golf stardom in 2007 when he turned professional, and has since won four major championships, including two PGA Championships, one Open title, and one US Open title. During his career, the Northern Irishman has shaped a number of rivalries in the sport.
McIlroy competed in the Walker Cup in 2007, a tournament for amateur golfers from Great Britain and Ireland that pitted them against their counterparts from the United States. McIlroy competed against Horschel who was representing the United States at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
The tournament was being held in McIlroy’s home country, and the golf star recalled why he wasn’t a fan of Horschel at first. He was talking about the American in comparison to Patrick Reed, who he competed with in the 2016 Ryder Cup during Sunday’s singles matches.
McIlroy was speaking on Subpar where he was asked who he hated more – Horschel in the 2007 Walker Cup or Reid in the 2016 Ryder Cup. McIlroy quickly responded by saying Horschel’s name, before going on to offer an explanation. “That’s saying something,” McIlroy said after giving his answer, laughing.
He added: “I absolutely hated him and we’ve been very close ever since, which is great, but I also think we were all obnoxious at the time, but I think he was very rude to the public at times.” “They’re my people” I was like “I’ll get over his a**”.
“But we’ve actually made a really good friendship since then, and Billy’s a good guy, and I like him a lot.” McIlroy won’t have the opportunity to rekindle his rivalry with Horschel and Reed any time soon. McIlroy will compete in the Team Europe Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy at the end of the month.
Neither Reid nor Horschel qualified or was selected for Team USA at this year’s tournament. Reid has not competed on the PGA Tour since joining the separate league LIV Golf, while Horschel finished 90th in the FedEx Cup standings this season and 86 places behind McIlroy in fourth.