Rory McIlroy Mixed Emotions Over Tiger Woods' Statement About Him

“It’s nice to hear, in my opinion, the best player ever to play the game say something like that."- McIlroy said.

by Sead Dedovic
Rory McIlroy Mixed Emotions Over Tiger Woods' Statement About Him
© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

As we've said countless times: All eyes will be on Rory McIlroy as he is expected to compete for a Grand Slam career. It seems that no analysis from golf pundits, experts, and golfers can go without mentioning the Northern Irishman. Every year, the greatest attention is focused on him because McIlroy is expected to finally achieve his goal. 

Rory fails in his attempt year after year, and the pressure he feels doesn't help him at this moment. Based on his statements before this tournament, McIlroy seems to want to approach his quest with a different mindset, not focusing on the media and everyone's expectations. At the Masters press conference, Rory McIlroy touched on many things, but right at the start, he reacted to Tiger Woods' statements, who believes that Rory will succeed in winning this year's Masters or sometime in the future. 

The 34-year-old golfer is happy with the opinion from one of the greatest golfers ever. McIlroy, however, is cautious and doesn't want to be overly confident. The Northern Irishman and Woods have been great friends since the early days of Rory's career, and such words are surely a great motivation for him.

“It’s nice to hear, in my opinion, the best player ever to play the game say something like that. Does that mean that it’s going to happen? Obviously not. But he’s been around the game long enough to know that I at least have the potential to do it. I know I’ve got the potential to do it too. It’s not as if I haven’t been a pretty good player for the last couple of decades.” -McIlroy said, as reported by Irish Golfer!

Woods, who is aiming to make his 24th consecutive cut at this year's Masters, will have the support of fans and fellow golfers. Tiger enters this tournament with injuries that have been bothering him for a while, but he has highlighted that he feels significantly better in that regard. Woods seems much more prepared than he has been in the past. Rory McIlroy believes in Woods, considering that he can break another record. Tiger Woods' career is marked by breaking numerous records. If the same happens this time, no one will be surprised. McIlroy is familiar with Woods' quality and knows what Tiger can achieve when he is in top form.

"For the record, I’m with Tiger, I think he will do it……eventually. If it’s to happen this week however, it’s all about the start. Only twice in the last 25 years has the Masters winner not been inside the top 10 after day 1. Both of those were Tiger wins with 2019 being the last one. In a bad omen, in 15 Masters starts he has only carded opening rounds in the 60s twice."- McIlroy continued.

Reflecting on his disappointing performance at last year's Masters, where he missed the cut after recording his worst score since 2012, McIlroy emphasizes the importance of starting calmly. He stresses that while he possesses the skills to excel, sometimes it's necessary to adopt a more conservative approach and practice discipline and patience. McIlroy recognizes the traps of trying to win the tournament right from the first tee shot and has learned from this experience, aiming to approach the event with a more calculated mindset.

Rory McIlroy one of the favorites to win the Masters

Rory McIlroy is one of the favorites alongside Scottie Scheffler to win this competition. The Northern Irishman doesn't want to have such a role, as it only adds extra pressure for him. His press conference this time was much shorter than usual, and it seems that Rory didn't want to reveal many details regarding his plans and intentions for this tournament. 

Rory McIlroy at Masters 2024
Rory McIlroy at Masters 2024© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

At times, he seemed crystal clear, confirming what he wanted, but many believe that Rory remained ambiguous in these press conferences. His intentions for a different approach this year are clear, aware that he needs to change something about himself. 

McIlroy is trying to be somewhat mysterious, aiming to distance himself from the media and their headlines. Sensationalist headlines are not what Rory wants to see. The 34-year-old golfer has prepared extensively for this Major, acquainted of its importance. 

He has sought advice from big names in the world of golf, primarily Butch Harmon, Tiger Woods' former coach, who has spoken to him the most about mentality and how important it is to enter this tournament calmly. Perhaps these pieces of advice will make a difference.

Words from Woods and several other popular golfers and analysts will be a boost for Rory McIlroy. This week could be crucial in his career, as winning the competition could pave the way for further success. However, it is too early to speak about it, and it is not necessary to create additional pressure on Rory.

Rory Mcilroy Tiger Woods