Rory McIlroy has always admired Tiger Woods. And recently, he had a few words to say about Tiger Woods. Unlike the shy and reserved Tiger, McIlroy has always been upfront, direct and ready to engage with the media.
Of late Tiger has had tough times. A few years ago, Tiger was in the news about his hefty divorce settlement after rumours of infidelity rocked his marriage. Currently, the golf icon is nursing a back injury while battling with insomnia and anxiety. A few months ago, he was arrested for driving under the influence. No trace of alcohol was found in his blood. He had mixed prescription drugs which were given to him to deal with his insomnia.
McIlroy has always attributed his success in golf to Tiger Woods. He credits his focused and “ruthless”mindset as result of interaction with Tiger Woods. One of the biggest lessons his learnt from the former world number one champion was that “It is okay to be a winner” and that “It is okay to be a little selfish”.
Thus it is understandable that he would speak up on Tiger Wood’s current problems with concern.
In a July interview with Golfweek, McIlroy praised Tiger Wood’s return after losing his marriage. He praised Tiger Woods as “a winner”. McIlroy is very confident that it is Tiger’s winning attitude and his “ruthless streak” that endear people to Tiger.
McIlroy has stood by Tiger during his battles with back problems and anxiety. He feels bad that Tiger is unable to return to the course because of his back injury.
Of late, Rory has offered sympathy to his ailing hero. Other golfers who have poured their hearts out include current British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.
McIlroy is very downcast as he thinks of how Tiger’s back problem has hindered his ability to do simple activities’. “I can’t imagine anything so debilitating where you can’t even stand up to do a press conference” was his remark.
McIlroy is also concerned that Tiger Wood’s intense workout schedule could be the cause of the champion’s insomnia. He is sure that all Tiger does at this time is just read and train. “He struggles to sleep, which I think is an effect of overtraining so I tell him to calm down sometimes. He'd be texting me at four o'clock in the morning: 'Up lifting. What are you doing?”
All the same McIlroy is glad that Tiger is patching up his own life. He is happy that Tiger is spending more time with his children.
It is ironical now that Tiger Woods has to contend with the fact that life is more important than golf as the world number 2, McIlroy thinks. He is certain that Tiger has a lot of things going on in his life. At the end of the day, McIlroy believes “Tiger doesn’t owe anyone in the game; he has nothing to prove to anyone. I just hope he gets healthy and happy”