Conflicts and contradictions make McIlroy so compelling

Rory McIlroy, seen here getting his eye in during a practice round at Bethpage ahead of the US PGA Championship, is a complex and fascinating character. ‘He is compelling because hisconflicts are those of any normal human mind, where absolute truths and concrete certainties do not really exist,’ writes Tommy Martin. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

In my days putting together TV sports news bulletins there was always a certain level of sportsperson who would go high in the running order no matter what they were talking about or getting up to.

Roy Keane, Ronan O’Gara, Davy Fitzgerald. Mourinho, before he went miserable. Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Becks.

Obviously this was a manifestation of celebrity culture, the understanding that a very famous face on screen is televisual crack cocaine, an irresistible force that compels viewers to watch that person even if they are waffling on about a hamstring twang. But it was more than fame that justified these people’s presence in our three-minute slot before the story about a squirrel riding a skateboard.

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