Rory McIlroy Says Tiger Woods Is 'Always The First' To Congratulate Him

The Northern Irishman praises the timing of Tiger Woods’ congratulatory texts in the final episode of Full Swing

Rory McIlroy sits down in the locker room after winning the FedEx Cup
Rory McIlroy says Tiger Woods is always the first to congratulate him after he wins
(Image credit: Netflix)

The bond shared between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy is well publicised, with McIlroy frequently praising the 15-time Major winner’s influence on him, and Woods on the record paying tribute to the Northern Irishman’s efforts to defend the PGA Tour amid the emergence of LIV Golf.

That friendship and mutual respect was brought into even sharper focus this week when the two were grouped together with Justin Thomas for the opening two rounds of the Genesis invitational at Riviera Country Club. However, while Woods and McIlroy are not averse to sharing their respect for each other in public, the final episode of Netflix series Full Swing, Everything Has Led To This, proves the duo are close away from the media glare, too.

After winning the FedEx Cup for the third time following his triumph in last August’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, McIlroy is shown sitting in the locker room, decompressing after a gruelling battle with Scottie Scheffler for the trophy. There, McIlroy checks the text messages on his phone, only to find Woods has already sent his congratulations. 

With a broad smile on his face, McIlroy delivers one of the quotes of the series, saying: “He’s always the first. Always. Tiger. Like, he’ll text you, like, before the last putt drops. Always the first. He’s unreal.”

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It’s a touching moment and an appropriate way for the series to end given the pair’s huge and enduring influence on the PGA Tour. Considering the two have also founded a new company, TMRW Sports, and have launched the upcoming TGL in conjunction with the PGA Tour, it appears that influence is only strengthening as the disruptions at the top of the game continue. Judging by Woods' immediate response to McIlroy's win last August, the same appears to be true of their friendship.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.