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Tiger Woods has sent the rumour mill into overdrive this week, with speculation gathering pace that he’s close to making a stunning comeback to competitive golf at next week’s Masters, and one man who would love to see him teeing it up at Augusta National is Rory McIlroy.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Valero Texas Open, the 32-year-old said: “I think for golf and for the Masters tournament and for everyone, to have Tiger there would be phenomenal. I think it just adds to the event. Obviously, it does. Anything Tiger Woods does in the game of golf is heightened whenever he's there. I mean, it would be awesome for him to be there. You know, he was there yesterday, obviously, and he's trying to see what he can do. Obviously, no one knows but him if he can make it around and think, you know, if he believes he can compete.”
Woods played a practice round at the famous course earlier this week, turning the prospect of him competing next week from fanciful to increasingly probable, and as far as McIlroy is concerned, if anyone can make such an unexpected return, it’s Woods. He continued: “I've said this so many times, but from basically March of 2017 fast forward two years and he wins the Masters and where he was with his body and what he had to do to get back to being somewhat healthy. And it's not even being somewhat healthy, it's also what he has to do before the round and after the round just to get himself ready to go and play golf. Yeah, the sheer will and perseverance, yeah, it is incredible.“
It's not the first time in recent weeks that McIlroy has spoken in glowing terms about Woods. Before he was inducted into the World Gold Hall of fame, McIlroy described the 46-year-old as his inspiration and hero, and the Northern Irishman was again full of praise for the impact Woods has had on the game. He said: “If he comes back from this again, it's just, he likes to prove people wrong, he likes to prove himself wrong, I think. Regardless of when he does come back, whether it's next week or a few weeks, few months down the line, he's a wonderful addition to the game and the game of golf is better when he's playing and when he's playing well."
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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.
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