Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who was a major winner for 14 times, admitted that the 22-year old Rory Mcllroy has a better swing than him when he was his age.
He said it was “cool to watch” Mcllroy stun everyone with his eight-shot victory in the US Open in Congressional almost two weeks ago.
“That was pretty good, wasn’t it?” a recuperating Woods said at the AT&T National in Pennsylvania, where he is hosting the tournament but not playing. “That was some seriously good playing.
“As I was saying out there earlier, it was cool to see that he had softer conditions and he was able to go low but also was able to continue pushing it, and that’s what’s fun when you have a lead is to keep building on it and keep pushing.
“Those conditions weren’t such where pars were going to build leads and an occasional birdie. You had to go out there and be aggressive and go get the birdies because everyone else was; everyone else was making three, four, five, six birdies a day, and he just didn’t make any bogeys.
“That was very impressive playing. To do that at a U.S. Open, to be that aggressive the entire time, that was cool to watch.”
But while Woods confessed to being impressed by Mcllroy’s scoring records, he was not about to concede that the Mcllroy era has started and that the Woods’ era is over.
“Yeah, I’m 35, I’m not 65,” he said. “I’ve still got some years ahead of me. Golf is unlike any other sport. I mean, Watson was, what, 59 years old when he almost won? We can play for a very long time. And given that we have the health to do it, guys have succeeded for a very long time.”
While he concedes that the club swing of Mcllroy is better at 22 than his swing during his victory at the 1997 Masters at the age of 21, he said he might even have had a better swing at 22.
“In 1997 when I was, what, 21, granted I had some success, but I didn’t like my golf swing. That’s why I changed it,” Woods said when comparing himself to McIlroy. “I felt like at the same age, his swing is definitely better than mine was at the same age.
“But in ‘99 my swing came together and I had a pretty good next two years.” The Tiger Slam was only achieved in 2000 after he overhauled his swing.
Mcllroy could win the four majors now if not for his erratic putting and inexperience.
“He needs to obviously continue working on it and continue getting better. And he’s still young … so it’s fun to see someone who’s of that age play the way he did and handle himself the way he did after Augusta.