McIlroy Says Crowds Cost Tiger Woods Two Shots A Week

Rory McIlroy says "Tiger Mania" distracts Woods from playing his best golf

McIlroy Says Crowds Cost Tiger Woods Two Shots A Week
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy says "Tiger Mania" distracts Woods from playing his best golf

McIlroy Says Crowds Cost Tiger Woods Two Shots A Week

Rory McIlroy played with Tiger Woods last week for the first two days at Riviera, and got to witness the full "Tiger Mania" with a front-row seat.

It's usually the Ulsterman who gets all the attention from the fans - I followed Rory McIlroy at Royal Birkdale last year and there wasn't a two minute spell without someone shouting Let's go Rory!

Related: Rory McIlroy's 30-minute warm-up routine

But for once, McIlroy wasn't the main attraction and he told media after his second round at Riviera that all of the attention on Woods is not good for his game.

"It might have been like this, the whole Tiger Mania and these dudes," - he said referring to someone who shouted "Let's go Rory!" right on cue.

McIlroy says Woods loses half a shot a day to the field because of the volume of fans following him. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

"I swear playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field.

"It's two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around.

"So, whether that calms down the more he plays and it doesn't become such a novelty that he's back out playing again.

"Because it's just tiring and I need a couple advil, I've got a headache after all that.

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"Just the whole thing, you've got a six foot putt 'it doesn't break as much as you think', just stuff like this they don't have.

"Whoever that's teeing off at 8.30am in the morning doesn't get that, and can just go about doing their business and do his thing.

"And that's tough he has to deal with that every time he goes out to play."

Watch McIlroy's interview here:

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In the end it didn't matter if Woods gave away 0.5 shots a day because of the fans as he comfortably missed the cut.

McIlroy ended the week at -3 for a T20th finish.

Related: How Tiger's swing has changed

The pair tee it up this week at the Honda Classic where Woods will no doubt be surrounded by more Tiger Mania.

Let's hope he can get back to playing his best golf.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x