(Following Rory McIlroy's record-setting victory in the US Open and at the age of 22).
Q: Can you give us your general thoughts on Rory McIlroy's performance, which set 12 US Open records:
JACK: "It was obviously an unbelievable performance. I thought he played just fantastic golf. It is so great to see a nice young man play well, to do well.
"We are all aware that he has been there before, but he showed that he learned from his mistakes, and he showed that he knew how to play the last two days with a big lead. Not only did Rory know how to play with a big lead, he played it confidently, played it smartly, and he never put himself in position to be in trouble."
Q: With the brief history you have with Rory, in some ways, do you feel a little personal connection to this victory?
JACK: "In some ways, I guess I feel almost like a father figure in the game of golf. I consider all these kids like sons of mine. I always feel that any time I have a young man who has come to talk to me--whether it is my son or someone else's son--I love to see them do well, love to see them play well, to improve, and to succeed. Once they have that success, I love to see their ability to handle it the right way. And they all have handled it beautifully. I feel confident Rory will do the same.
Q: After the Masters, Rory posted a message that repeated a Muhammad Ali quote: "It's repetition of affirmations that leads to belief--and once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." In some ways, does this echo what you have tried to convey to Rory?
JACK: "That's basically it. That's a very good quote. Once you understand what you did wrong and what you need to do right, and you start to do those things and see the reaction and things start to happen, you get confirmation and you get confident. Then, you start to do those things again. I am sure this is just the first of many such successes for him."
Q: You too won your first US Open and major at age 22. How does Rory keep from getting sidetracked by all the hoopla bound to follow? It likely will be immediate and intense.
JACK: "In this day and age, it's very difficult. I hope he understands he is a golfer first. He will be and already is a celebrity, but he is a golfer first. Right now he is a very good golfer, but if he wants to be a great golfer, he needs to learn how to deal with it and learn how to handle all the things on the side. He needs to make certain golf is the first thing, as well as his motivation and desire to be great. Tiger had records on the wall as his motivation. My motivation was that I wanted to be the best I could be in the sport, and once I got close to Bob Jones' record, that became a motivation. I think Rory has got his head screwed on pretty well and I think he'll keep it there."
Q: How important was it, looking back, to win a major so early in your career? Did it take the pressure off in any way? Does it make it easier to win the next one or ones?
JACK: "Absolutely. Rory is 22 and just won the US Open. Although the British Open might be the biggest tournament in the world to him, the US Open is the biggest tournament for an American and for many golfers. Regardless, to win the US Open, and have that happen to him at this age, it takes a lot of pressure off him but also puts a lot of pressure on him."
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