The ‘GOAT’ wanted to join in on the celebrations.
The two lads from the Emerald Isle decided to keep the party going, so they got together with European Captain Luke Donald to watch videos from the competition and reminisce on what had just transpired.
The Europeans also sipped wine and snacked on lunch at McIlroy’s South Florida home.
Then Michael Jordan, a close friend of McIlroy’s by way of Tiger Woods, reached out.
“Rory and Luke started texting [Jordan], and the next thing [I know], we’re sitting there drinking with Michael Jordan, just the four of us, and I’m like, ‘Whaat!’” Lowry said, according to The Irish Independent.
“He’s very much a pro-USA guy. It was the first Ryder Cup he hadn’t been to in 25 years, so we gave him a good slagging.”
Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. He rose to international superstardom during the early 1990s as a member of the Chicago Bulls, winning six championships.
He also represented Team USA at the Olympics in 1992 as part of the ‘Dream Team.’ Before the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, professional basketball players were barred from playing in the Olympics.
So, Jordan knows all about representing one’s country.
“We were talking about the issue of players being paid at the Ryder Cup, and he told a story about the US basketball team,” McIlroy said.
“‘Do you not think I could have got paid to play in the Olympics?’ [Jordan] said. ‘These people are missing the point of what it means.’ “He saw the long-term value of winning an Olympics and said he ended up doing way better than if he had taken money there and then. And that’s pretty much how I see it.”
A controversy regarding compensation emerged on Saturday at this year’s Ryder Cup. A report emerged from Jamie Weir of Sky Sports indicating that Patrick Cantlay went hat-less to protest against the PGA of America’s pay-to-play rules.
Cantlay and other members of Team USA have since refuted that report.
“I’d say more people watch the Ryder Cup than any other golf tournament in the world,” McIlroy continued.
“It captures the casual [fan’s] imagination a bit more. So we’ve got this unbelievable platform to take the game to a new audience, and I think that’s way more important than being paid a hundred or a couple of hundred grand to play in the thing.”