Rory McIlroy Pays Tribute To Tiger Woods at The Players Championship

Rory McIlroy was spotted in some familiar colours during the first round of this year's Players Championship

The Players Championship: Rory McIlroy Pays Subtle Tribute To Tiger Woods
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In case you missed it, it appeared that Rory McIlroy paid tribute to Tiger Woods on Thursday at The Players Championship. Although he only managed two holes as inclement weather wreaked havoc on the "fifth major", the Northern Irishman did it in style, sporting the black and red colours made famous by the 15-time major champion. 

Woods was inducted into golf's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with many greats of the game - including McIlroy - speaking of what Tiger meant to them and what he did for golf as a whole.

"Tiger's left more of a mark on this game, I think, than anyone else basically in the history," McIlroy said. "I think the fact that he is a person of colour and what that brings to the table in terms of golf being a more acceptable sport to play if you're from a certain ethnic background. And just his play in general and the excitement he created around the game of golf. 

"He was, I'd say in his pomp in early 2000s, he was probably the most famous man in the world. I think we all have to be very thankful for Tiger Woods and when he came along, and we should all be very fortunate that we played at a time that he was around because we've all benefited from him.

"I feel very fortunate because there is this sort of saying that you shouldn't meet your heroes, and Tiger was my hero when I met him, and he lived up to expectations. He's been nothing but unbelievable to me and my family, and he's been an inspiration for so many of us that are out here playing this golf tournament this week."

Woods, an 82-time PGA Tour winner, broke down in tears during his Hall of Fame speech after being introduced onto the stage his daughter, Sam. He is still recovering from the horrific injuries he sustained in a car crash more than a year ago but has vowed he will return to the PGA Tour - although he remains adamant he will never be able to play full-time again. 

As well as McIlroy, Fred Couples called Woods "the best I've ever seen", while Nick Faldo added: "You’ve been the most prominent professional in the history of our game. In fact, what you’ve done and achieved possibly makes you the most prominent global sportsman since Ali. Congrats again. Enjoy your night."

Elsewhere, the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Suzann Pettersen and long-time friend Notah Begay III all joined the chorus of social media reactions to Woods' latest achievement. 

Andrew Wright
Freelance News Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he decided to go freelance and now covers a variety of topics for Golf Monthly. 

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as,, and

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Mizuno mp32 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x