McIlroy, Daly find natural pairing
May 14, 2019
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy and Carson Daly host the monthly "Rory & Carson" podcast. (GOLF Channel)
Carson Daly jokingly says the first podcast was like an “awkward first date” in some regards.
He and Rory McIlroy didn’t really know each other that well. But there they were, sitting at a table in front of two giant microphones in an Orlando hotel room on Tuesday night prior to playing together in the pro-am at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
There was no script, no pre-arranged questions – just a wide-ranging conversation that touched on golf, pop culture and life. And in those two hours, the “Rory & Carson” podcast on the subscription service GOLFPASS was born.
In reality, the pairing of McIlroy and Daly was a natural one.
Daly, who began his career in radio, grew up playing junior golf in southern California and is friends with TOUR players like Tiger Woods and Jason Gore, who has been his partner in several AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Ams. He used to caddie at famed Riviera Country Club, where his stepfather once worked in the pro shop.
“So, golf is in my history and my blood and what I've loved is the reputation that Rory has is really unbelievable,” Daly says. “You know, he's a great, smart young guy and I think if the future of the game and the TOUR is in his hands or in people like his hands we’re going to be in really good shape.
“He's a really thoughtful guy.”
So, Daly is certainly a fan. But he’s also a seasoned television personality who started on MTV and until recently hosted the late-night “Last Call with Carson Daly” on NBC. He is now the Emmy-winning host and executive producer of “The Voice,” as well as a regular on NBC’s “Today” show.
Daly was a guest earlier this year on GOLF Channel’s popular “Feherty” show. Shortly after the episode was filmed, he got a call asking if he’d be interested in hosting the podcast.
“I was like, oh my God,” Daly says. “… I can’t believe that’s actually considered a job.”McIlroy and Daly began hosting the "Rory & Carson" podcast prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. (GOLF Channel)
The podcast runs monthly. So far, the topics of conversation have included the first concert McIlroy ever attended (spoiler alert, it was 50 Cent) to how Kenny G is just a tad, er, make that way more, healthy than Daly.
“We’re talking about golf, pop culture and sort of everything in between,” the 30-year-old from Northern Ireland says. “It’s a good way for me to engage with fans and keep them up to date with what I’m doing, but also try to show another side of me and of golf.”
In the second podcast, McIlroy also talked about how he and his wife Erica cried when they saw Tiger Woods hug his son Charlie after he won the Masters last month. He says he “felt like a 10-year-old kid again” watching the epic comeback victory.
“It was like life, or his career at least, had come full circle,” McIlroy tells Daly. “From walking off the 18th green in ‘97, hugging Earl, and then 22 years later, he’s hugging his kids. And everything that went on in between – great golf, bad golf, injuries, scandals, the whole lot. It was like it had just come full circle.
“And people have started to see him as a human being again.”
Daly, who is 45, acknowledges that he and McIlroy, who won THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this year, are from different generations. But their shared love of the game and music has opened up plenty of avenues for the two to discuss.
“We talked about obviously, the game of golf and through golf, how, you know, you end up talking really about life,” says Daly, who has been open about his struggles with anxiety. “If you're talking about golf, you're talking about life. So, we're talking about how it's shaped our lives.”
Daly, who has three children, also wasn’t shy about asking McIlroy about his family.
“He's married now and I'm pressing him on when he's going to have kids and things like that,” Daly says. “So, it's a very comfortable environment. We really talk about a lot of things.”
GOLFPASS, a subscription service developed by McIlroy in partnership with the NBC Sports Group. In addition to learning more about the four-time major champion off the course, subscribers receive exclusive videos and instruction and travel and shopping perks.
Preview clips of the “Rory & Carson” podcast can be found at https://www.golfpass.com/rory-carson-podcast. The service costs $9.99 per month or $99 for a year.