'Why?' - Sir Nick Faldo Questions McIlroy Masters Interview

Faldo has questioned whether McIlroy's in-play interview during the opening round of The Masters was a distraction

Sir Nick Faldo takes a shot during the 2023 Masters Par 3 Contest
Sir Nick Faldo thinks the in-play interview idea could lead to a loss of concentration for players
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy gave an in-play interview for the benefit of the viewers at home during the opening round of The Masters, the first time it has ever been tried in the tournament.

While it’s not the only time McIlroy has agreed to be interviewed on the course, having also done it at the WGC-Match Play last month, his decision to repeat the move at Augusta National divided social media.

Some questioned whether it was a distraction considering the importance of the tournament for a player chasing his first Green Jacket and a career Grand Slam. On the other hand, many loved the unique insight provided by one of the world’s best players as his round was in progress.

However, one high-profile figure who fell into the former category is Sir Nick Faldo. The three-time Masters champion, who has stepped back into the limelight this week to perform broadcasting duties for Sky Sports in the UK, responded to footage of McIlroy giving his in-play interview shared on Twitter by Golf Monthly. He wrote: “Every interview I’ve done this week is all about giving 100% concentration to yourself and the task at hand, so why?”

After his round, McIlroy denied the in-play interviews are a distraction. He said: "I did it a couple weeks ago at the Match Play. It definitely feels a little less intrusive with the ear piece rather than someone right up next to you with the microphone like they've been doing it in Europe for a couple of years.

"I thought it would be a cool thing to do. I did it in Austin and didn't feel like it took me out of my rhythm in any way or made me think about things too much. So it's nice to provide the audience at home a little bit more insight into what's going on out here.”

Still, there will be a nagging doubt for many whether that the move affected McIlroy’s performance. He finished his opening round seven shots behind overnight leaders Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm and admitted he had work to do after an 'untidy' start to his attempt to win his first Major in nine years.

Considering McIlroy’s inconsistencies while mic’d up, it seems likely more people will join Faldo in questioning the interviews if they continue and he doesn't start moving up the leaderboard.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.