Having golf without fans has been both eerie and peaceful. It also has given us a lot of hot mics to pick up conversations between the players, their caddies and rules officials.
We've heard Bryson DeChambeau try to get relief from ants, and had more than a few F-bombs launched at wayward shots. Thursday at the 2020 PGA Championship we got a conversation between two of the best players to ever play the game, as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy discussed the intensity of the Giants' rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the 2020 PGA Championship being held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, a number of club manufacturers made special orange and black bags, Giants colors, to commemorate the major by the Bay. Woods had to explain to McIlroy, who is a native of Northern Ireland, why he, a Dodgers fan, would never put his clubs in one of those bags which McIlroy was using for the week.
Tiger: Giants colors …
Rory: Yeah -- that’s what it is …
Tiger: I couldn’t do it.
Rory: I don’t know much — I don’t know enough about baseball to say yes or no …
Tiger: What team do you root for? Back home, in soccer?
Rory: Man United. So Liverpool are like, the biggest rivals.
Tiger: So that’d be like Liverpool f--king colors on your bag. That’s how much we hate the Giants.
Rory: Really? No good.
Tiger: Yeah. Wouldn’t do it!
McIlroy then asked Woods, a diehard Raiders fan, if he would still be cheering for the Silver and Black now that they are in Las Vegas. The answer was obvious. The two also discussed the MLB season and the possibility of the NFL season happening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"... If they have one more outbreak in any team they're done."— ESPN (@espn) August 6, 2020
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy talked about MLB before teeing off on their 13th hole.
Stream their round on ESPN+ https://t.co/5GPPRRGnVj pic.twitter.com/ACCeXIwTrs
Rory: Are you cheering for the Vegas … the Raiders now in Vegas?
Tiger: They’re just the Raiders. I grew up and they were Oakland, and then they moved to LA, and I watched them win two Super Bowls in L.A., and they went back to Oakland, now they’re Vegas. So they’ve always just been the Raiders to me
Rory: Okay, just the Raiders. It looks like a cool stadium. It looks really cool.
Tiger: IF you have football. If.
Tiger: Yes. Doesn’t look good.
Rory: I can’t see it in this state. I mean, with how — they’re super strict.
Tiger: Once one person has it in a locker room? They’re all going to get it
The PGA Tour was among the first sports to return amid the pandemic. The testing protocols have worked well after a couple of early kinks, and the tour had no positive tests this week at TPC Harding Park.
Woods fired a 2-under-par 68 in the first round and is three shots back of co-leaders Jason Day and Brendon Todd, while McIlroy survived an early bogey train to finish at even par.