Imagine Golf Blogs

McIlroy wants Woods tussle

Europeans sense World No. 1 is the US weak link

Posted Sep 29, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Rory McIlroy

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has this week stated he would love to face Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup and he feels all of the European team would fancy their chances against the World No.1 following the steep decline is Woods’ form over the past year or so.
And I have to say, Woods could be the weak link in the chain for the US team at the Celtic Manor event this weekend.
Unquestionably, Woods is the greatest player of the past 20 years and certainly on course to be the greatest of all time. But as McIlroy pointed out, he has lost some of his aura recently. And the culmination of this was his worst ever professional score of 18 over at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational a few weeks back.
McIlroy told the BBC: “Once I met Tiger, even before last year or whatever, you sort of realize that he just is a normal guy. He’s probably the best player that’s ever lived, and likely the greatest player that’s ever played the game. But you watch so much golf on TV, and you see so many things and you watch so many highlights…watching Tiger winning the Masters in ’97 and winning four majors in a row in 2000/2001, you sort of don’t really believe it. You put him on such a pedestal and then you meet the guy and you realize that he’s obviously an unbelievable player, but he’s just a normal guy.
“After what’s happened in the last 18 months, I suppose a little bit of that aura is probably gone.”
And I tend to agree with the 21-year-old. Woods was unplayable. He was the best. Now, he’s just hanging on to the field as they threaten to leave him behind. Admittedly, I believe he will regain his form and win more majors but I don’t think that will happen for a while.
I reckon the Europeans will put so much pressure on him and whomever he is playing with that mistakes will start to creep back in.
It will be interesting to see how Woods performs this weekend and I for one will be keeping a close eye on his matches.

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