Altvater: Does Rory McIlroy intimidate Tiger Woods?Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman recently made comments that Tiger Woods was intimidated by Rory McIlroy. The iconic Jack Nicklaus has even weighed in on the intimidation issue.
Tiger sees Rory as a talented youngster just beginning to reach his full potential on the PGA Tour. He understands his position as a 15-year veteran on tour and, being a competition junkie, needs a worthy opponent to bring out his best. Rory is that guy — a talented competitor that requires the best efforts of Tiger.
Rory has been No. 1 on the Official World Golf Ranking for 13 weeks. Tiger was No. 1 for 623 weeks and has worked his way back to the No. 2 spot in the world.
Tiger posted lower scores than Rory in four of the five rounds they were paired during the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but the fact Tiger did not win a major in 2012 has to be a huge disappointment for him. He had a very good finish to 2011 and the outlook for 2012 was very bright
His game has gotten progressively better throughout the year and he appears to be on the right track to be holding major hardware in the not too distant future.
Rory has all of the shots, hits his driver very long and straight and makes a ton of putts. The demands of travel, sponsor commitments and the daily grind a golf professional faces is the challenge Rory has had to learn to handle.
If Tiger can find something else on which to focus his efforts, such as reclaiming his No. 1 Official World Golf Ranking, the major victories will come.
Even though Rory has won two FedEx Cup Playoff events this year, Tiger could still win at East Lake and collect the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes along with it.
That might also put some drama into the PGA Tour Player of the Year voting although Rory’s Wanamaker Cup would probably trump Tiger’s FedEx Cup.
Is Tiger intimidated by Rory?
With all due respect to Greg Norman, he may just a little off base with that notion.
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