How visiting Tiger changed McIlroy’s Major perspective

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy fine-tuning his game at Augusta (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

A courtesy visit to a recovering Tiger Woods’ residence has given Rory McIlroy a whole new perspective on winning more majors.

Not only was the visit intended to help keep Woods’ spirits high following February’s near fatal car accident but it was an inspection of Woods’ trophy cabinet that totally lifted McIlroy’s efforts to restart his own stalled career.

So much so, all McIlroy could think about on the short drive back to his own Bear’s Club residence was why does Woods’ have just 15 trophies on display in his trophy cabinet. Since turning professional in September 1996, Woods has won 137 times around the globe with 82 on the PGA Tour and 41 on the European Tour


Ahead of McIlroy revealing that he quizzed Woods of the whereabouts of all the other 142 trophies, McIlroy had spoken in the Masters media centre of the desire to peak for the four majors by either treating them like each other tournament week, or circling the four weeks on a calendar.

“Circling the four majors on the calendar is probably the best way to go,” he said. “So, when I went over to Tiger’s house a few weeks ago to see him ahead of the Match-Play, in his family room he’s got his trophy cabinet and it’s his 15 major trophies.

“I said, “That’s really cool. Where are all the others?” “Tiger said, “I don’t know.” I go, “What?” He said, “Yeah, my mom has some, and a few are in the office and a few are wherever.”

“I was driving home, and I was thinking — I mean, he talked — that’s all he cared about, all he cared about.  So how easy must it have felt for him to win all the others. That was just always in my mind, he talked about these are the four weeks that matter. So, the weeks that didn’t matter, you know, he racked them up at a pretty fast clip.

“But I’m just thinking to myself, how easy must that have felt for him if all he cared about were four weeks a year.  The other stuff must have been like practice.  So that’s like a really — that’s a cool perspective to have, right.

“Yeah, that’s all I could think about on the way home.  And I was glad he was okay, too! (laughter).”

In visiting Woods, McIlroy spoke of a pact, for the want of a better word, between Woods’ friends who live close by and how they’re getting together to ensure Woods stays positive and in continuing good spirits despite the near tragedy on a LA highway.

“I spent a couple hours with him, which was nice,” said McIlroy. “It was good to see him. It was good to see him in decent spirits and actually not as, you know — like when you hear of these things and you look at the car and you see the crash, it’s like, you think he’s going to be in a hospital bed for six months. But he was actually doing better than that.

“A few of us that live down in South Florida went to see him. I’m sure he appreciates that. And, again, as I said, everyone would love to see him back out here again. I think myself, J.T., Rickie, DJ, Brooks, all those guys down there, we all have a responsibility to try to keep his spirits up and keep him going and try to get him back out here.”

You see, golf is more about just winning trophies.

Rory McIlroy’s – Masters Fact File

  • Master’s appearances – 12
  • Cut made – 11
  • Top-3s – 0
  • Top-5s – 3
  • Top-10s-6
  • Top-25s- 10
  • Scoring average – 71.33
  • Rounds – 46
  • Lowest round – 65 (Day 1, 2019)
  • Highest round – 80 (Day 4, 2011)
  • Master’s earnings – $2,527,521
  • Master’s crystalware – 3 Augusta National crystal vases (Low round 65, 2011; Low round 66, 2015, Low round 65, 2018).
  • 7 – Sets of Augusta National crystal highball glasses (2013 – Eagle 13thRound 2, Eagle 15th Round 4; 2016 – Eagle 13th Round 1; 2018 – Eagle 8th Round 3; 2019 – Eagle 8th Round 2, Eagle 15th Round 3, Eagle 13th Round 4)


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