ATLANTA – Charles Barkley hung out at the CBS interview with Amanda Renner as Rory McIlroy finished his round Saturday at East Lake Golf Club and couldn’t help but reach out to the four-time major winner and reigning FedEx Cup champion (at least for one more day).
Barkley, who said he was on his way to the Chris Stapleton concert that night with CBS golf commentator and pal Colt Knost, joked with McIlroy, who injured his back earlier this week and has been playing at less than full strength, that he looked like whether he had plenty of speed in the third round.
“I think you’re faking it,” Barkley said.
McIlroy shot a 1-over 71 in the third round, snapping a string of 30 consecutive rounds under par.
Charles Barkley wished Rory McIlroy the best of luck at the Ryder Cup and told him he meant it. (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)
But when McIlroy appeared for a post-round interview with Sky Sports, he changed his tune, saying: “Good luck with the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy stopped and turned and asked, “Do you mean it? Do you really mean it?”
“I really do,” Barkley said. “Hey, I don’t pull for teams, I pull for guys like yourself.”
The Northern Irishman is expected to be one of the team leaders when the European team hosts Team USA and tries to win back the Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy, Sept. 29-Oct. 1.