by Bernie McGuire, Albany, The Bahamas
For a second occasion in a few days, Tiger Woods has singled out Rory McIlroy for special praise.
First Woods was very complimentary of McIlroy’s leadership qualities in taking the PGA Tour fight virtually single-handedly to LIV Golf and now on day three of the Hero World Challenge, Woods singled out McIlroy’s swing.
Woods, who withdrew from teeing-up in the tournament he hosts, was speaking with NBC Golf during their coverage here from the Albany course in the Bahamas, with Woods being asked a variety of questions while the action was taking place on course.
Irish Golf Mag has already reported Woods speaking of his determination to get formal competition and not only become the winningest golfer in the history of the PGA but also to land ‘another big one’, and with Woods, of course, referring to a 16th major championship.
No Woods’ comments on McIlroy’s swing were suggesting his now 13-year-old son Charlie copy not the swing of his 15-time major-winning father, but rather that of the current World No. 1 Northern Ireland-born McIlroy.
“I’ve told Charlie don’t copy my swing, copy Rory’s because there are some holes in my swing through to the finish whereas Rory holds his swing perfectly right through to the finish,” said Woods.
“So, you can swing it as hard as you want but Rory just seems to have the perfect all-round swing.
“Charlie and I do the same things on a golf course, and just like you see all the champion fathers and their sons. They emulate the fathers as Raymond Floyd’s son, Robert hits the ball like his father. I used to also jump-up off the ground as they all seemed to do that but then that teached me out of doing that.”
And Woods then went on to speak on a variety of other topics:
HOW MUCH HAS WOODS HAD TO CHANGE FROM LOWER BODY ACTION TO MORE UPPER BODY?
“When I was growing-up, I was lucky enough to also like baseball and playing a bit of baseball helped with my development in playing golf. So, I played baseball using my right leg a lot as you do in the game and drawing on that very much in playing golf. Nowadays, I do use a lot more of my upper-body than relying moreso on my lower half.
“My legs, as we know, just don’t have the spring they used to have.”
“What a career-model for anyone is Tom Kim. He’s well-spoken, a great kid and just a great personality, and he’s already been a fantastic addition to the Tour.”
ON GROWING-UP WATCHING ARNOLD, JACK AND GARY COMPETE IN THE FATHER-AND-SON (PNC Championship)
“It has always been a fun event to watch and I remember watching the likes Jack (Nicklaus), Gary (Player), Lee (Trevino) and Arnie (Palmer) compete in the then named Father-and-Son. It was sometimes hilarious just the interaction among the families.
“My peer was Robert Floyd, Raymond’s son, as we grew-up together playing and he would play with his dad. So, to see that connection between the fathers and their sons was great. I had the same connection with my dad. We played-in father-and-son events in southern California, and that was like a major tournament for me playing every year at the California Country Club and we loved it.
“So, I’ve now been caddying for Charlie at some of his junior golf tournaments and I’m loving it.”
ON BEING NO. 1 IN THE WORLD FOR 683-WEEKS
“I thought it was always to be the best in each shot you played. So, to be World No. 1 for that long was special. It felt like a doctor may feel in being the best doctor in the world, a best surgeon in the world, So, to have played around the world so many times as the best in the world was something I took great pride in.
“For me, I liked being up there but I also liked sun-burning too.”
USA BEATEN BY HOLLAND IN THE WORLD CUP
“The USA team can be very proud of how they played against Holland. They had a shot at goal in the first three minutes to score and the US could have gone 1-zero right there and it would have been a whole different ball game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
“Hey, America is making progress and we were in the round of 16, so in four years when the World Cup comes back to North America we may do a bit better.
“The thing is also I like watching the guys do a lot of running, as I like running about (laughing).”
JUSTIN THOMAS … THE BAD NEEDS TO GET A LITTLE BIT BETTER
“If you are shooting rounds of 74 or 75, of course you need to turn them around in shooting 70s or 69s, as that is what allows you to win tournaments. That’s mainly his (Thomas’) attitude and a willingness to fight but it’s also, I think, to get up-and-down a lot because in one of the years I held the record on Tour for the most greens hit was like per average 12 1/2 or 13 greens. That was my best run but nowadays, I am missing six a round.
“So, if you miss six greens a round that’s 24 up-and-downs you have to make in a tournament.
“So, JT needs to make up-and-downs and if he can turn those into pars because many times par putts are more important than birdie putts. They have given you a lot of momentum. You don’t drop shots and you can still be really positive if you do drop a shot and maybe turn it all around with some great par putts.
“You look at JTs rounds this week. He made two bad swings out here the first two days and also made a couple of doubles and without those he would be right in contention.
“It’s just a matter of him making a few more putts here and there and he will have it all on a string.”
NEW AMENITIES BEING BUILT AT ALBANY
“We’ve got a new bowling alley. A new basketball court, a new cardio facility. Right down the road you have Thunderbolt Cave. We’ve got swimming with the piglets. So, it’s awesome that in this whole area you can do all these things. It’s fantastic.”