Rory McIlroy's words at Olympics on mental health resonate with Matthew Wolff

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Matthew Wolff’s performance, and his words, won over a new group of fans at the U.S. Open in June, but it was the recent words of another player that resonated with Wolff.

Wolff, who missed nearly two months this year on the PGA Tour to deal with mental health issues, said it was Rory McIlroy’s comments at the Olympics that stood out to him as sports begins to address mental health with a new awareness.

Full-field tee times from The Northern Trust

“Some of the feelings that I had were like getting up in the morning knowing I had to get out of bed and just not being able to,” Wolff said Tuesday at The Northern Trust. “I just want to stay in my bed and not be in front of everyone and not screw up in front of everyone, and I think that what [McIlroy] said was really powerful because, if you don’t feel a hundred percent right, no matter if it’s physical or mental, it is an injury, and you should be able to rehab and take your time in order to get to a place where you need to be.”

When asked about Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles in Tokyo, McIlroy said the conversation about mental health needs to continue with a renewed awareness of how it impacts athletes.

“There’s been a few athletes that have really spoken up, Michael Phelps, Kevin Love, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles,” McIlroy said. “It’s not taboo anymore, people can talk about it just as somebody has a knee or elbow injury, if you don’t feel right 100 percent right mentally that’s an injury, too.”