SNOOZE AND YOU DON’T LOSE: Rory McIlroy almost had his terrific PGA Championship weekend ruined because he was counting sheep. Photo courtesy Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy is younger than me by about three months. And, with our age virtually the same, I can honestly there is nothing about his life I could possibly relate to. Until now.

McIlroy won his second major in stunning fashion this past week when he had golf historians tearing out entire pages of the record books as he smashed the competition and cruised to the top of the PGA Championship by eight strokes. Like I said, I can’t even begin to imagine how he feels.

But then, yesterday during an interview on the Golf Channel, McIlroy made a somewhat surprising admission: he nearly missed his tee time for the final round because he was sleeping.

Yes! He is mortal!

According to McIlroy, having to finish up his third round early in the morning left the 23-year-old sleep deprived, so he chose to take a nap. Well a power nap turned into a standard midday mini-coma, and the pro golfer’s dad had to come wake him up. The end result was that the youngster was swiftly whisked to the links, showing up only about half an hour before his first swing.

You, of course, know the rest of this story. He came into the final round with a three-shot lead. He didn’t shoot a bogey in the final round and pulled away from the pack with his nearest competitor finishing eight strokes behind, a new PGA record. McIlroy’s victory also made him the youngest golfer ever to win multiple majors, ANOTHER record.

And it all might’ve never happened if he hadn’t left la-la land.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that pro golf has a new wonder-kid, but to compare him to Tiger would be misleading. Coming up, Tiger was always that fierce competitor that seemed so aptly named. With Rory, you don’t get any of that. Sure, the kid is overflowing with talent. But without a golf club in his hands, McIlroy just seems kind of like that quirky kid from around the neighborhood.

That’s what makes his story so refreshing. There’s no doubt Tiger is a bit odd, but he’s odd in a strange, fearful kind of way. On the other hand, McIlroy almost catnapped his way out of history and, when he didn’t, he considered his postgame meal of two diet cokes and a cookie something of a treat.

As one golf pundit said earlier this week, losing the Masters in such a shocking way might’ve been the best thing to happen to McIlroy and his career. The lessons he’s learned from that heartache have probably aged him decades from an experience perspective. And, as we saw with his unintended hijinks this past weekend, it clearly hasn’t changed the man behind the golf club.

So, no, not all twenty three year-olds are created equally. Obviously. But Rory McIlroy seems to have broken the mold in the right way. And, as long as he remembers to set his alarm, golf is going to have a good kid to root for for a long, long time.

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