During the press conference Sunday evening following his historic U.S. Open victory, Rory McIlroy was asked over and over about Tiger Woods. Of course, after his Woods-like domination, that was natural. Especially since he brought up trying to emulate Woods’ 1997 Masters performance himself.
“Just growing up and watching him, watching him dominate at the Masters at ‘97, watching him dominate at Pebble in 2000 and St. Andrews. And just trying to go out there with the same intensity that he has, and the same — no lead is big enough. That’s all I was trying to do,” McIlroy said. “I was trying to go out and trying to make no mistakes, and really not give anyone a chance to catch me.”
Of course, McIlroy was also asked about Woods’ absence and about the opportunity to play against Woods if and when Tiger ever returns to form.
“Yeah, I mean, it would be great to — I’ve watched Tiger over the last 15 years. It would be great. When I was growing up, I always had putts to win Tiger Woods in the Masters or U.S. Open. So it would be great to be able to get in contention one day, whether it be a Major or just a regular event and go down the stretch with him because I’ve never really had that experience before,” McIlroy said.
“As I said, hopefully he can get healthy and can get back playing good golf, because the game of golf is a better place with him playing well.”
Yes, it would be great for golf fans. Unfortunately, with Rory rising and Tiger still a physical — and maybe mental — wreck you have to wonder if it is something we will ever see.