A few minutes after Jordan Spieth said opting to not play in golf's return to the Olympics was the hardest decision of his career, Rory McIlroy casually rolled into the Open Championship press center and napalmed the entire concept of golf in the games.
McIlroy may have been in a mood, may have wanted to set the record straight and may have wanted to get some things off his chest. Whatever the reason, he was honest and did not hold back.
Rory tore to shreds the notion that the top players in the game have a "responsibility" (he used the air quotes himself) to help grow the game, the main reason that was touted in the push to add golf to the Olympics.
When he said he would not play in Rio de Janeiro, McIlroy cited the Zika threat as a reason he was taking a pass. But this press conference made it clear it was more than that and he questions golf's inclusion in the Olympics. That came through when he told the assembled media that he would watch the Olympics, just not the golf competition.
After saying he'd watch track and field and swimming, McIlroy stopped ... thought for a beat ... and finished his answer with, "I'll watch the stuff that matters." That's a pretty big haymaker for the International Golf Federation and the other groups who worked to get golf in the Olympics and then promoted it all year in advance of next month's games.
His comments on the Olympics and his role growing the game were certainly the most notable, but the entire press conference was a tour de force. McIlroy was candid about golf's inadequate drug testing, saying he could "take HGH and get away with it." This was one of the top names in the game putting pressure on the organizing bodies to improve testing.
Then a recent column that said he was in danger of becoming the "Ringo" in a new big four of Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day also came up. When he was asked about becoming Ringo, Rory delivered a world-class eyeroll.
And then he wove into his answer this not-so-subtle reminder that he's got as many majors as the other three players in this so-called big four, combined.
When Rory was asked that "Ringo" question, he dropped this "oh btw." Love. pic.twitter.com/8yIAfqEEAu— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) July 12, 2016
Rory will take a lot of heat for the one remark about his role not being to grow the game, but he's never really been one to use a bunch of clichés and take the safe route in his press conferences. Olympics organizers cannot be happy today, but let's hope that Rory's approach never changes.