Rory McIlroy has a famous admirer: Tiger Woods. This week, the golfing legend said it was entertaining watching the young Irishman capture the US Open.
In fact, Woods says he believes McIlroy is a better player than he was at 22.
"That was pretty good, wasn't it? That was some seriously good playing," Woods was quoted as saying in an interview in the Herald this week.
When asked how he would compare himself to McIlroy, Woods replied: "In 1997 when I was 21, granted I had some success, but I didn't like my golf swing. That's why I changed it. His swing is definitely better than mine was at the same age."
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"But in 1999 my swing came together and I had a pretty good next two years," Woods added, about a period in his career that produced the so-called 'Tiger Slam' in which he held all four major championship titles at the same time.
"McIlroy needs to obviously continue working on it and continue getting better. And he's still young so it's fun to see someone who's of that age play the way he did and handle himself the way he did after Augusta.
"We've all fallen, we've all made mistakes and played poorly and lost tournaments. It's fun to see someone apply what they've learned and succeed while doing it."
Woods said he was impressed by how McIlroy, now the world's number three, kept playing aggressively at Congressional despite holding a big lead.
"It was cool to see that he had softer conditions and he was able to go low but also was able to continue pushing it, and that's what's fun - when you have a lead to keep building on it and keep pushing," said Woods.
"That was very impressive playing. To do that at a US Open, to be that aggressive the entire time, that was cool to watch."