If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Rory McIlroy over the past three months it’s that he most certainly cares.

Between his emotional interview at the Ryder Cup in September and RippedShirtGate at the DP World Tour Championship a few weeks ago, no one should ever question the man’s fire again.

Another thing we know about McIlroy is that he likes to move on quickly, especially from situations like ripping his shirt in a fit of rage. In Rory’s mind, it’s over. It happened. Time to move on. 

Of course, those of us in the media like to do quite the opposite. Naturally, on Wednesday at the Hero World Challenge, the first thing a reporter said to McIlroy during his press conference was “Nice shirt, it’s in one piece.” An unamused McIlroy sniped back by saying “It is. Another joke you tried to make that’s not funny.” 

If that wasn’t enough indication McIlroy would have liked to the subject to be dropped, he tried again to give a disinterested answer to another question about the shirt later in the press conference. One reporter asked how long it took to rip the shirt, to which McIlroy responded “I mean, I pulled on my collar and it ripped. I don’t know if I’ve ever done it before.” 

Almost everyone took the hint, as McIlroy began fielding a number of questions ranging from his thoughts on the PGA Tour not granting releases to players wanting to play in the Saudi Invitational, to whether or not he thinks about how long it’s been since he’s won a Major, to his current level of confidence in his game. As usual, McIlroy was incredibly insightful throughout. 

And then, somebody asked him one last time about the shirt. What happened to it, specifically? 

“I went to the pro shop, bought a new one, threw that one in the trash. I mean, this f—ing ripped shirt, Jesus.”

Remember that scene in “Elf” when Peter Dinklage’s character says “call me elf one more time” to Buddy the Elf, and Buddy calls him an “angry elf” and then Dinklage jumps across the table and kicks his arse? We were one more ripped shirt question away from McIlroy re-enacting that scene. Say ripped shirt one more time. I dare ya.  

Fortunately, no one did. But at some point someone will and they should fully expect a Rory McFloggin!.