Rory McIlroy Suggests "Circus" Of Fans Is Harming Tiger Woods' Form

Rory McIlroy Suggests "Circus" Of Fans Is Harming Tiger Woods' Form

Two men on very different kinds of comeback trails, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were paired together for this week's Genesis Open in California.

Among the most talked about, keenly watched golfers of successive generations, even McIlroy was put in the shadow as a 42-year-old Woods continued his competitive return to the sport.

According to the four-time Major winner McIlroy however, such attention was a crucial factor in Woods missing the cut for the weekend's action.

Speaking in the wake of their final round together, McIlroy highlighted the ill-effects such a surrounding "circus" has on the stuttering Woods:

It might always have been like this like the whole Tiger mania and these dudes, but I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field.

Like it's two shots a tournament he has to give because of all 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 I don't know.

But it's tiring. I need a couple of Advil. I've got a headache after all that.

As McIlroy alluded to, Woods has scarcely played under conditions any less strenuous. A reality that he himself spoke of afterward:


It's cost me a lot of shots over the years. And it's been a lot because all it takes is one shot on a Thursday and you lose the tournament by a shot on Sunday.

What people don't realise, it's not just something that happens on Sunday afternoon - this is cumulative and it's par for the course. But I've dealt with it for a very long time.

Opening up on the kind of thing that can happen out on the course, McIlroy sympathised with the 14-time Major winner and the kind of comments he has to put up with:

You've got a six-foot putt and they'll shout "It doesn't break as much as you think," just stuff like that - stuff they don't have to say.

That's tough [and] Tiger has to deal with that every single time he goes out to play.

Although Woods is now out of proceedings, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell holds a joint-lead going into the weekend's action.

See Also: 'You Hear Them Before You See Them' - Irish Rowers Making An Impression In New Zealand

Arthur James O'Dea

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