It's impossible not to like Rory McIlroy, and not just as a golfing prodigy and Masters favorite.
The Irishman entered the interview room Tuesday morning at the Masters, knowing he'd be forced to re-live the worst round of his life in forensic detail, and did so with poise, self-deprecating humor, honesty and a maturity and perspective far beyond his 22 years.
"It wasn't the end of the world. It's only golf. It's not like anyone died out there," he said of last year's final round capitulation.
It's a nice-sounding line but what was more important was that it didn't seem rehearsed. Like everything he says, it comes naturally and you sense that it's what he believes.
McIlroy held a four-shot lead going into last year's final round, only to shoot 80. His dreams of a green jacket came undone firstly with a hooked tee shot on the 10th that led to a triple-bogey, then he three-putted the next for bogey and four-putted the 12th for double-bogey.
He'll be forced to relive a bit of last...