Woods, McIlroy stoke rivalry as golf season begins
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The world's top golfers meet more often on the course, but neither No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy nor Tiger Woods are ready to call it a rivalry.
They're paired together for the first two rounds of Abu Dhabi Golf Championship starting Thursday. They've established a friendly relationship since playing together for the first three rounds of last year's tournament.
For a more heated rivalry to emerge, they both agreed they need to face each other Sunday with a tournament at stake. It has yet to happen, although Woods did make a run at McIlroy in last year's Honda Classic with a birdie-eagle finish.
“It would be similar to saying that I had a rivalry with Phil (Mickelson) two years into my career. That wasn't the case. It takes time,” Woods said Tuesday.
“Over the course of my career, I've gone head-to-head against Ernie (Els) and Vijay (Singh) the most and that has happened over 17 years,” he said. “But it takes time. Certainly we've done it once at Honda. ... But we really haven't had the amount of matches or head-to-head duels with Phil and Vijay and Ernie. But then again, it's only been a few years. Let's give it time and see how it pans out.”
“I don't know if you can call it a rivalry yet because we haven't battled each other down the stretch of a major,” McIlroy said. “It's not like we have been playing in the final group of a tournament and we are battling each other. Hopefully at some point that can happen this year and it would be great to be part of that.”
Woods and McIlroy will pair off again this week.
“We've certainly hit it off, and our relationship has grown and our friendship's gotten better,” Woods said. “We've just had a good time. Certainly give each other the needle quite a bit. That's always fun.”
McIlroy said the relationship in many ways is built on mutual respect.
“Before this time last year, we would say hello in passing but not really anything else. I think once Tiger sort of gets to know you and trusts you, I guess, and lets you in, then it's great,” McIlroy said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Turkey Trot runners turn out to burn calories despite chilly Pittsburgh temps
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches 800 career points
- PIT wants non-passengers allowed past security to shop
- Cosby made deal with National Enquirer to spike accuser’s story in 2005
- Queen of crime writing P.D. James dies at 94
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Pitt plays best game of the season in rout of Kansas State
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby