Rory's woes only '5 percent' of what Tiger Woods went through

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Rory's woes only '5 percent' of what Tiger Woods went through

Professional

Rory's woes only '5 percent' of what Tiger Woods went through

 

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods is no longer in a dark place, Rory McIlroy believes. 

McIlroy went through a new experience last year when his physical condition wouldn’t let him perform to his expectations. A rib injury suffered early in the year saw him miss key tournaments, and forced him to cut his season short.

McIlroy says his travails were nothing like what Woods went through with his injuries.

“I’ve only been through five percent of what he’s had to go through,” McIlroy said. “You can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally because of physically where he is. He’s a totally different person.

“I empathize with him. I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It’s just great to see him out of that and back and excited to play golf again.

“I feel like I sort of know what he felt like but (Tiger’s state of mind) was probably times a hundred.”

Despite being diagnosed with slight heart murmur recently, McIlroy feels he’s back to full fitness. His appearance in the $3 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is his first competitive golf since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October.

“After that three and a half months of reset, I’m very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally.

“I was just trying to rest and trying to keep myself going (last year). That mentally gets you because every time you turn up at an event you don’t feel prepared.

“I feel prepared, I feel ready and I feel ready to challenge.”

Abu Dhabi is one of eight events the former world number will play before the Masters, when he’ll make his fourth attempt at trying to attain the grand slam. McIlroy hasn’t won since the 2016 Tour Championship and has slipped to world number 11. A win would help his Masters preparation, but it’s not imperative.

“I don’t need to (win) but I’d love to. It would be ideal if I were to win one of these next eight events – hopefully not just one. It would be great for my confidence going into Augusta.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home