Rory McIlroy is thrilled by an inspiring trip to 15-time grand winner Tiger Woods’ trophy room … as the Northern Irishman tries to complete the Grand Slam career at the Masters again this week.
- Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a major wave since the 2014 USPGA Championship
- He recently visited Tiger Woods’ trophy room, which left a lasting impression
- The Northern Irishman has recently teamed up with a new coach, Pete Cowen
- The Masters in Augusta, the only major McIlroy not to win, kicks off next Thursday
Rory McIlroy hopes that a recent visit to Tiger Woods will prove inspiring as he makes another attempt to win the Masters and complete the Grand Slam career this week.
A trip to Tiger’s trophy room left a lasting impression on the Northern Irishman. “All I could think about on the way home was the fact that the only trophies he had on display were his 15 majors,” he said.
‘I asked him where the rest were and he had no idea. I thought that was really cool. It brought home that they were the only trophies that really mattered. ‘
Rory McIlroy hopes a recent visit to Tiger Woods will prove inspiring at the Masters (pictured together in August 2020)
McIlroy hasn’t won a major since claiming his fourth at the 2014 USPGA Championship
McIlroy hasn’t won a major since claiming his fourth on the 2014 USPGA and is perhaps less eager to end the drought this week than ever since.
He has started working with a new coach in Pete Cowen and acknowledged that it may take him a while to return to top form.
“We’re just at the beginning of the journey to where I want to be,” said the 31-year-old.
As for the stricken Tiger, a poignant text to close friend Justin Thomas summed up his state of mind on the eve of the season’s first major. “I’m really starting to hit home now that I’m not here because I don’t have practice rounds with you and the boys,” Tiger wrote.
Thomas and McIlroy both live in the same Florida enclave as Woods and have been offering the first updates since Tiger, 45, returned home after the devastating Los Angeles car accident in February that put his career on the line.
“I think when we all saw the car, we were worried he’d be in hospital for six months, but he looked better than that,” McIlroy said. “He was wearing a good suit.”
Thomas added: ‘I go to see him a few times a week and he is doing as well as can be expected. We just hang out and watched sports a lot, as we normally would. It helps that unfortunately he has been through rehab before.
‘I just want to be there for him when I can. If he wants me to take care of his kids I can do that, or go to McDonald’s for him, I don’t care. I just miss not seeing him here, I’ve learned so much over the years practicing with him.
McIlroy lives in the same Florida enclave as Woods and offered initial updates after the crash
The early years with Augusta, I was like a puppy dog following him. If he hit chips anywhere, I would go there and hit chips from there. I think learning from Tiger is one of the reasons my results here are getting better every year. ‘
The world’s number two admitted that he was shocked by some of the things he heard on the training ground after Tiger’s blow, while rumors circulated about the cause of the accident.
“I tried to shut my ears for the first two weeks because it’s amazing what people say when they hear something and start saying it happened,” said the 27-year-old.
Woods won the Masters in 2019 but will miss this year’s event after the car accident in February
This is a serious situation and even if it wasn’t, it’s not fair. I understand everyone wants to know, but at the same time, you have to be respectful and no false claims have to be made. ‘
This is Thomas’ sixth Masters and there certainly seems to be a pleasant trend given his first five results: 39th, 22nd, 17th, 12th, 4th.
No prizes for guessing who gets a mention if he keeps moving in the same direction and gets his hands on a green jacket this Sunday.
That probably also applies to Rory.