The American highlighted McIlroy's comments about mental health at the Olympics as an important discussion within sport, while indicating that his own mental wellbeing is gradually improving
Matt Wolff Believes McIlroy’s Mental Health Comments Were “So Powerful And So True”
Ahead of The Northern Trust at the Liberty National Golf Club, Matthew Wolff spoke candidly to reporters about his mental health and the improvement in discussion surrounding the topic.
Wolff took a two month break away from golf following his DQ at The Masters, with the 22-year old revealing upon his return that he struggled with his mental health during the period leading up to the event at Augusta, and realised that taking time off was necessary to rediscover his enjoyment for the game.
Since returning in June at the US Open, Wolff has played six events in preparation for the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The American also earned a $1m bonus by becoming the Aon Risk Reward Challenge champion, a season-long competition across the PGA Tour that highlights golf’s best strategic decision makers.
When asked about how he’s doing both mentally and personally, Wolff admitted that he’s gradually improving.
“It’s still a grind,” said Wolff, “I’m doing a lot better.
“I feel like I’m starting to feel like the results or the performance doesn’t so much affect the person that I am, and I can still be friendly to fans and talk to people and smile and have fun out there and enjoy all the hard work that I’ve put in to be where I am today.
“Sometimes I definitely take that for granted, and it’s hard when you’re out there working really hard and feel like you’re ready for a tournament and then going out and not performing, it takes a toll on you, especially when you’re not playing well in that moment, and it might happen over and over again.
“I know incrementally the scores might not be better, but I’m feeling better.
“I’m happier, and I’ll look to keep on being happy.”
Wolff also commented on the support he is receiving, while commending the discussions that are continually occurring within sport in regards to mental health.
The 2019 3M Open winner highlighted Rory McIlroy’s comments in particular as extremely powerful, suggesting that mental injuries should be treated in the same way as physical ones.
“About Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles and stuff, I want to move that to what Rory said.
“He was at the Olympics, and they asked him about Naomi and Simone, and I think his quote on that was so powerful and so true.”
McIlroy supported Simone Biles‘ decision to withdraw from the Olympics at the time, highlighting that mental injuries are just as important as physical ones.
“People can talk about it just as somebody has a knee or elbow injury,” said McIlroy in July, “if you don’t feel 100 per cent right mentally that’s an injury too.”
“I think that what he said was really powerful because, if you don’t feel a hundred percent right, no matter if it’s physical or mental, it is an injury, and you should be able to rehab and take your time in order to get to a place where you need to be.
“I feel like I had that time, and I’m looking forward to this off-season to working on it a little bit more.
“I’m definitely going to take as much time as I can off in the fall to work on that and work on my game as well as my mental side and just being happy.”