Rory McIlroy, The Intimidator, Really ?

In a Tour Championship press conference, Rory McIlroy laughed at the idea that he intimidates Tiger Woods.

Rory McIlroy/the intimidator/Photo by Associated Press

It has been reported in some circles that Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory McIlroy, this suggestion has been received by a large dose of mirth, especially from Rory himself.

Greg Norman introduced the concept earlier this week, telling FoxSports.com that Tiger Woods is intimidated by McIlroy and his game. Greg told Fox Sports News;

“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory. When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.”

Rory, the two-time major champion, replied to this comment from Greg, almost laughing as he said;

 “How can I intimidate Tiger Woods ?  I mean, the guy’s got 75 or 70-whatever {actually it is 74} PGA Tour wins, 14 majors. I mean, he’s been the biggest thing ever in our sport. How could some little 23-year-old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate him? It’s just not possible.”

Tiger joined in with the playful banter, saying;

“ It’s got to be the hair. Some individual sports, such as tennis, you actually can do that physically, because you’re playing against somebody. Here, no one is affecting any shots.”

Butch Harmon, who was coach to both Norman and Woods when both ascended to No. 1, said Wednesday morning he found Norman’s comments;

” To be kind of strange, to be honest. I don’t think he’s won enough.  He’s far and away the best player in the world at the moment, there’s no doubt about that. I would agree with that 100 percent. But I don’t think the other players are intimidated by him. Now, if he continues to win majors and numerous tournaments, then yes, that could possibly happen. But I don’t see that right now with Rory and Tiger, no, when Tiger was in his heyday, yes. So when Rory comes along, and he’s won two majors at a young age and is starting to win a lot of tournaments, yeah, we want there to be a rivalry. But is it the rivalry with Tiger, or is it the rivalry with somebody else? I think time is going to tell.”