Rory McIlroy has promised Europe captain Luke Donald he will behave when he goes on a stag do on the Greek party island of Mykonos a week before the Ryder Cup.
Donald was laughing as he relayed the pair’s discussion at the world No 2’s house in Florida recently.
“Yes, the issue did crop up,” Donald said here on the eve of the Irish Open. “Rory understands that he is not 21 or 22 any more.
“There’s nothing wrong having some fun with your friends, but I think he’s got wise enough shoulders to know that he won’t go crazy, so no concerns there.”
McIlroy, 34, also found the prospect of him turning up worse for wear amusing at the biennial dust-up in Rome in three weeks’ time.
“Hey, I’m sensible when I need to be,” he said. “It’s only 48 hours, nice little trip, and probably needed as well. So I go from here to practise in Rome [next Monday with the team] to Wentworth [on the Tuesday for next week’s BMW PGA Championship].
“I get back from Mykonos into London on the Wednesday evening and then have four good days to get myself ready for Rome.”
If Donald does have any fears surrounding his top-ranked player - as Europe seek to deny the United States their first win on foreign soil in 30 years - they would be focused on his back. McIlroy suffered a muscle spasm before the Tour Championship in Atlanta two weeks ago and was in notable pain.
“It’s OK,” McIlroy said. “I would say it’s at 90 per cent, 95 per cent. It’s not a hundred per cent better. I just need to take care of it a little bit but it’s not preventing me from doing anything I want to do. Just being a little mindful, I guess.
“When I got back from the Tour Championship I started to do some rehab exercises and saw the physio a couple times. I hit balls once on Saturday before we left and we spent a couple days in London before coming here. I practised a bit yesterday on Tuesday, but I sort of needed to rest it and take care of that as the priority.
“I was saying today to Harry [Diamond, his caddie] and Michael [Bannon, his coach] that I didn’t really practise during the FedEx play-offs because it was so hot. So I haven’t really practised since the first week in August. It will be nice over these next couple of weeks, and obviously the week leading into Rome, to spend some time refining a few things in my game and working on some stuff.”
McIlroy is appropriately bullish about Europe’s chances at Marco Simone and like everyone was full of praise for Ludvig Aberg, the Swedish rookie who was selected by Donald as a wild card on Monday despite only having played nine tournaments as a professional.
“I mean, he’s special, he really is,” McIlroy said. “He’s an unbelievable ball-striker.”