McIlroy in agreement with Woods, he could never be a ceremonial golfer

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy echoed the sentiments of Tiger Woods yesterday by saying he too could not fathom being a ceremonial golfer and if he does reach the point in his career where he can’t win golf tournaments he will enjoy golf in other ways.

On Tuesday Tiger insisted he was teeing it up in the Genesis Invitational to win despite not making a competitive start since a missed cut at the Open following a two-year long struggle to recover from a life threatening car accident at this event in February 2021.

Speaking ahead of the tournament where McIlroy will play alongside Woods and Justin Thomas for the opening two rounds, he wouldn’t be afraid to walk away if he could not win tournaments any more.


“The answer that I want to give you is that I love the game enough to be OK with being a ceremonial golfer, but I don’t know if my competitive drive in this game — I’m not a very competitive person, I only really am competitive in golf, but I don’t know if that competitive drive towards this game would let me be happy not contending to win golf tournaments,” explained McIlroy who lost his world number one ranking last week.

“That to me is a pretty frustrating place to live when your entire career you’ve strived towards trying to win golf tournaments.

“If I want to play golf, I can play it at home with my friends and my family and enjoy it that way. I don’t think you would need to struggle in front of thousands of people to enjoy the game of golf, so I’d sort of be in a similar boat to Tiger in that regard.”

McIlroy was then asked about Tiger’s overall involvement in the future if he did decide to give up playing competitively. Woods has already made appearances in ‘The Match,’ the PNC Championship and has created the TGL Golf League alongside McIlroy.

The four-time major champion has no doubt Tiger will continue to have a massive influence in the game going forward.

“I think Tiger will still hang around the game forever. You think about his presence, you think about — like he’ll host this event hopefully for a lot of years, I’m pretty sure he’ll still turn up to the Champions dinner at Augusta; I’m pretty sure he’ll be involved in the game whether it be his investment of entities that are sort of to do with the game of golf and trying to be an ambassador and trying to bring the game into the 21st century with some of the stuff we’re trying to do as well.

“Still being around golf and making his presence felt doesn’t necessarily have to mean hitting the golf ball in tournament play.”

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