NBC’s Brad Faxon shared Rory McIlroy’s ‘eureka moment’ on Saturday and McIlroy was none too happy

PINEHURST, N.C. — As Rory McIlroy played the 13th hole of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s No. 2 Course on Saturday, NBC Sports’s analyst Brad Faxon shared an insight into McIlroy’s game this week that was telling.

McIlroy shot 1-under 69 to improve to 4-under 206 and tied for second, just three strokes back of 54-hole leader Bryson DeChambeau as he bids for his fifth major and first in nearly a decade.

Faxon recounted how during a flight after the Memorial Tournament on Sunday, McIlroy turned to Sean O’Flaherty, his agent, and boasted, “Sean, I just figured it out.”

“What do you mean?” Faxon said was O’Flaherty’s response.

“I figured out my swing,” Faxon said McIlroy proclaimed.

“He got up in the aisle and showed him,” Faxon continued. “He started standing a little closer to the ball.”

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Brandel Chamblee, NBC’s lead analyst this week on the telecast, quipped, “That’s harder to do in 23C.”

Faxon and McIlroy have a unique relationship among players and announcers given that Faxon serves as his putting coach, too. This was a rare insight Faxon offered as to one of the reasons why McIlroy ranks first in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Strokes Gained: Off the Tee.

But when interviewer Kira Dixon, working on-site for Sky Golf this week, told McIlroy about what Faxon had shared on national TV and asked him to elaborate on what she called his ‘eureka moment,’ McIlroy was none too pleased.

“OK?” he said, eyebrows arching. “Umm, it may be true. I don’t know if I want to disclose it right now. I’m not sure why Fax is giving away sort of all my secrets.”

McIlroy chuckled and continued, finally confirming that Faxon’s story was accurate: “We spend a lot of time on planes and I spend a lot of time thinking about my game when I’m in the air and sometimes things come to me.”

McIlroy didn’t offer any more on what he discovered while flying the friendly skies but for three rounds it seems to be serving him well.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek