Rory McIlroy pays tribute jersey to Tiger Woods and looks to his own

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Soon after Rory McIlroy finished his first round at the British Masters, talk turned to Tiger Woods, who said on Wednesday he may not play competitive Chris Conner Authentic Jersey golf again. “If he doesn’t play again, then he’s been the greatest player that I’ve ever seen,” McIlroy said. “So if this is it, he doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone, not to me, not to us, not to himself. He can walk away from this game with his head held extremely high. He has done wonders for this game. I don’t think there is a single figure in golf who has done more.”It was an eloquent, thoughtful take. McIlroy is only 28. But it could just be that the reason he spoke so well about Woods’s legacy is because he has been thinking about his own.
McIlroy had not planned to be in Northumberland this week. He is here only because of a promise he made to Lee Westwood when they met at Sergio García’s wedding in July. Westwood is hosting this event and has spent a lot of time persuading his friends to come and play here at Close House, where he is the attached pro. “We’d had a couple of glasses of wine,” Westwood said, and McIlroy said yes – “if he didn’t get to the Tour Championship” which took place in Atlanta last week. Which was something like a polite way of saying no.Only, like a lot of the plans McIlroy has made in the past few months, it did not work out the way he imagined. He finished 58th in the FedEx standings and failed to qualify for the Tour Championship. So he is making good on his promise to Westwood. It is a favour for the European Tour, too, because it will mean McIlroy has played in five of its events, which is the minimum he needs to qualify for the Ryder Cup. So he has spared it from having to give him a special exemption, something it was criticised for doing during the Race to Dubai in 2015.
Early Thursday morning, as McIlroy walked to the 10th tee to start his round in the last rain of a long, wet night, he could have been forgiven for regretting his decision. But the sun came out soon enough and his game came together too, bar the odd wayward putt and one wild drive on the 17th. The ground was soft, the wind was still and McIlroy enjoyed the fact there was nothing much riding on the result. “I feel like I’m not under any pressure to perform at all,” he said, “and that’s probably why I have gone out there and shot a decent score.” He finished with a three-under 67.The crowd did not much mind why McIlroy was James Van Riemsdyk Youth Jersey here, or even how well he played, just so long as they got to see him. Outside of the Open and the PGA at Wentworth, there are not too many opportunities to watch elite golf in England any more, least of all in this corner of the country. Sky, whose support brought this tournament back to life in 2015, gave away 10,000 free tickets for the first day. And it seemed pretty much every last taker had gathered to watch McIlroy, whose round had been neatly timed to end at the very moment the other star attraction, García, was just starting out.
McIlroy may be here by accident rather than design, but there is a neat circularity to it. He made his professional debut in the British Masters, at The Belfry in 2007. He played here the following year, too, but this is the first time he has entered it since. So he has been reflecting on everything that has happened to him in that decade.“If someone had told me at The Belfry that in your first 10 years you’re going to achieve what I have, I would have been very happy,” he said this week. “I would have been really happy. I would have been ecstatic, over the moon.” He said a similar thing at the Open in July.This year, though, has been one of McIlroy’s worst, and could well be the first since 2008 in which he does not win a single tournament. He has been struggling with a rib injury, fidgeting with his Flyers Jersey clubs Flyers Authentic Jersey has split Mapleleafs Jersey with Mapleleafs Authentic Jersey his caddie and slipped down as low as eighth in the rankings. No wonder, then, that he is planning to stop and take stock. Once he is done with the Dunhill next week, he is planning to take a holiday, then have a battery of medical tests to check his fitness – “a full health MOT” he calls it – and take a long rest to heal that nagging injury. He says he probably will not play again until the end of January.


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