Rory McIlroy assesses Tiger's chances of passing Jack

Tiger Woods And Rory Mc Ilroy

Two years ago, Rory McIlroy met Tiger Woods for lunch at the then 14-time major winner’s restaurant in Florida and came away from it with thinking the same as many others.

He’s done.

Now? He wouldn’t be surprised if the former world No.1 used his Masters victory as a springboard to go on and win at least four more majors and eclipse Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 wins in golf’s events that matter most.

“It rejuvenates, re-energises that narrative,” said McIlroy of Woods’ stunning triumph at Augusta last month. “A lot of people were comparing it to Jack in '86 and everyone knew that was going to be Jack's last major championship. [But] Tiger could be competitive at Augusta for the next ten years if his body holds up.”

• PGA feels 'Tiger Effect' after Woods' Masters win

• "I got Masters prep wrong" admits Justin Rose

His body – that’s the huge, constant ‘if’ that hangs over Woods in his pursuit of Jack’s record.

It has taken four back surgeries, culminating in a spinal fusion in April 2017, to get Tiger back to winning ways.

• WATCH - Kid Rock spills spectator's drink with shank

Tiger Woods Green Jacket 2019

Speaking ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, McIlroy recalled seeing him at one of his lowest ebbs.

“I had lunch with him in Jupiter just over two years ago,” he revealed. “It was March 2017, coming off the back of another surgery or whatever. All he was thinking about was quality of life, watching his kids grow up, being able to play soccer in the backyard.

• BBC to show 2019 Solheim Cup from Gleneagles

“So, his mind wasn't even on golf, which sort of told me he was thinking this could be it. I think from stories that I've heard of the Champions Dinner at Augusta that year, he was sort of saying the same things.”

• Night vision for ladies' golf in Dubai this week

All of which makes his Masters victory three weeks ago all the more impressive.

“It's a big deal to come back from what he has,” added McIlroy. “I don't think people quite appreciate what has gone into it. It just shows he's gritty, he's determined. It's always been one of his best qualities and it was awesome to see.  For everyone in golf, whether you're a player, whether you're in the media, or whatever, it's just great for our game in general. I think it was a great day.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
How to play Worst Ball
Worst ball
play button
Old vs New Tech | How big are the gains going to be?
Titleist
play button
How to play Texas Scramble
Texas Scramble
play button
Which Callaway golf ball is right for me?
Callaway
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Tiger Woods "would love to play" The 150th Open at St Andrews
New study shows huge increase in golfers across Europe
Greg Norman praises Saudi golf ‘rebels’
Tiger Woods reveals how close he came to losing leg in crash
Tributes paid to golf trailblazer Lee Elder

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Use your height to maximum effect
Callaway
play button
Align your body at address
Watch
play button
How to square the clubface at impact
Callaway
play button
Keep the arms and body connected
Watch
See all videos right arrow