Rory McIlroy And Tiger Woods Contracted COVID Days Before 150th Open

McIlroy revealed in an exclusive interview with Paul Kimmage that both himself and Tiger contracted COVID just days prior to The Open

Tiger and Rory stare in the distance
(Image credit: Gety Images)

It has been revealed by Rory McIlroy that both him and Tiger Woods contracted COVID just days prior to The 150th Open Championship in July, a situation which McIlroy labelled as “horrendous” as he tested positive after the JP McManus Pro-Am.

McIlory explained his diagnosis and his assumption that he believed it was in fact himself that gave Woods the illness in an exclusive interview with Paul Kimmage from

"We had played two days of golf at Adare and the plan was to play Ballybunion on Thursday. I woke up that morning feeling a bit achy but didn’t really think anything of it," the four-time Major winner explained.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods walking down the fairway

McIlroy and Tiger walk the fairway at The 150th Open Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"JP gave us his chopper and we went down with Seán (Flaherty, McIlroy's manager) and Tiger's manager, Rob (McNamara). We got around fine, flew back to Adare for lunch and, as I'm getting up from the table, I'm sore and stiff and super tired. I said to Erica, 'I'm feeling a bit weird. I'm just going upstairs to lie down for a bit.'

"I slept for maybe two hours and the sweat was just pouring off me, then Erica took my temperature and it was sky high. I rang Tiger: 'I'm not feeling so good here.' And he goes, 'Oh, I feel okay.' But he texted me at 10 o'clock that night, chills, fever, and I'm like, 'F*****g hell, I've just given Tiger COVID! This is horrendous!' So we both had COVID going into The Open."

Catching the virus, McIlroy quarantined in Adare, but even when he started feeling better, his sense of taste still hadn’t returned: "I had planned to go to St Andrews early but ended up quarantining at Adare, and it probably took me until the Sunday to start feeling better. If it had happened last year, with everything that was going on in my game, I would have been in a panic, but I was in a good place and thought, 'I'll be fine.'

Former Open Champions pose for a photo outside of the R&A clubhouse before 150th Open Championship

Former Open Champions pose at The 150th Open Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"On Tuesday night, I went to the Champions Dinner and it was lovely. I was sitting there drinking water and they poured a glass of wine, a lovely 2005 Bordeaux, and I was like, 'Ahh, I'll just have a little sip,' but I couldn't taste it. The whole week of The Open I didn't have any taste, and everything smelled like vinegar to me. Everything. It was really strange."

It seemed COVID didn't have an effect on McIlroy during the tournament though, as the Northern Irishman had every chance to win in the final round after several birdie blitzes throughout the earlier rounds. Ultimately, he came up just slight short against Cameron Smith.

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Cieran Faulder

Cieran joined the Golf Monthly team having previously written for other digital outlets like Reach PLC and Northern Golfer. After studying Journalism at Northumbria University, Cieran went on to complete an MA at the University of Sunderland. A big golf fan, he currently plays at Blyth Golf Club, where he holds a handicap of 8. Citing his favorite golfer as Tiger Woods, Cieran regards himself as the best snap hooker of a ball in the North of England.