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September 21, 2012

Norman fuels budding rivalry between Woods and McIlroy

Greg Norman did us all a favor by saying recently that he believes Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory McIlroy. It fuels the only rivalry that could boost the game, and the only one that would be truly intriguing.

Woods is trying to regain his dominant form after both physical and personal setbacks, while McIlroy now has that dominant form at the same age that Tiger began to rule the golf world.

Both addressed Norman's comments at the Tour Championship, with McIlroy saying Woods now lightheartedly calls him "The Intimidator."

McIlroy dealth with it well, as he normally does: "He's got a new nickname for me, actually. He
calls me the Intimidator. He's obviously seen [the comments] too. No, how can I intimidate Tiger Woods? I mean, the guy's got 75 or 70‑whatever PGA TOUR wins, 14 majors. I mean, he's been the biggest thing ever in our sport.

I mean, how could some little 23‑year‑old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate him. It's just not possible. I don't know where he got that from, but it's not true."

Asked if there was ever a time he was intimidated by Woods, McIlroy said: "No, I don't think intimidated is the right word. More just in awe of what he's done, of his accomplishments, of his
achievements, but never intimidated."

Woods was less effusive and revealing in his response, as he usually is: “It's got to be the hair,” Woods joked.

Woods also dismissed the notion that he could be intimidated by another golfer.

“No one is the size of Ray Lewis who is going to hit me coming over the middle, so this is a different kind of sport. We go out there and we play our own game. And see where it falls at the end of the day.

“. . . Some individual sports, such as tennis, you actually can do that physically, because you're playing against somebody. Here no one is affecting any shots.”

Now if they can just get paired in Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup in a match with something on the line.



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