• McIlroy: "He inspired me as a kid and he inspires me now"
• The pair tee it up at the Masters which starts on Thursday
NIKE GOLF | TIGER WOODS | RORY MCILROY
Nike Golf has produced an inspiring new video showing the effect Tiger Woods has had on Rory McIlroy’s career as the pair prepare for the Masters at Augusta this week.
The film, called ‘Ripple’, captures the powerful influence of Woods on a young McIlroy and is a story of relentless pursuit by two remarkable athletes, Woods and McIlroy, and their respective paths to greatness.
Produced in one and two-minute versions, the film follows the inspirational journey of McIlroy growing up, captivated by Woods’ awe-inspiring performances, his strokes of genius, his athleticism and his swing.
Seeing fist pump after fist pump, victory after victory, and with posters of Woods in his room, the film shows McIlroy dreaming of one day competing against Woods — symbolic of the dream held by many young golfers around the world.
"I remember being completely enamoured by the energy he brought to the sport" - McIlroy
“As a kid, I looked up to Tiger,” said McIlroy, who hit a 40-yard drive at the age of just two. “When I first saw him on TV, I remember being completely enamoured by the energy he brought to the sport. His will to win. His determination. His fight.”
The ‘Ripple’ title is apt in the sense that, just like McIlroy idolised Woods, the 14-time major champion did so with Jack Nicklaus. And no doubt, in the future, a young golfer will burst onto the scene saying they idolised McIlroy.
“I’ve been in that same situation,” said Woods. “Growing up, Jack was my idol. My first recollection of the Masters was 1986, when Jack won. I remember him making a putt at 17 and lifting that putter up. Fourteen years later at the 2000 PGA Championship, I got to play with and against him – someone I looked up to.”
The Nike Golf film begins with a re-enactment of a young McIlroy intensely watching Woods win his first US Amateur Championship on TV in 1994 and culminates with the two professionals competing against each other, walking side by side down the fairway –inspiration for who’s next.
McIlroy said: “It’s been an incredible journey for me, going from massive fan to competitor. To think that not too long ago I was that little boy watching him on TV to where I am now.
“It’s been a cool journey and I’m very lucky I get to compete with and against him, because he inspired me as a kid and he inspires me now. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen.”
Woods added: “It’s neat because I’ve been able to be a part of different generations of competitors. Now I’m competing against the younger ones. It helps me train a little harder, because these guys are athletic.”
Check out the two-minute film from Nike Golf below: