McIlroy aching for return to limelight

Debut boy Rory McIlroy can’t wait to get back into the limelight and take on Tiger Woods for major glory.

The hair apparent - Rory McIlroy as snapped by Paul CaseyThe Ulsterman, 20, has been in a results slump for the past month after his brilliant performances in the Masters and the US Open.

But after watching Padraig Harrington square up to Woods in the Bridgestone Invitational last weekend, the Ulster ace is looking forward to the day when he gets his chance to take down the world No 1.

McIlroy said: “I think everyone would love to be in the position that Padraig was in on Sunday going head-to-head with Tiger, especially having a three-shot lead and trying to hold him off.

“You know, hopefully one day I'll be able to be in that position. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”

McIlroy watched Woods down Harrington with that incredible eight iron to six inches on the 16th hole in Akron.

And while he believes Harrington was unlucky to get put on the clock by referee John Paramor, he felt that Woods showed just why he is the most special golfer of all time.

He said: “I was in the locker room watching the last few holes with Martin Kaymer and Adam Scott and we were having little bets about these how they’d play the last three holes

“Tiger as three behind going into the last round and he was leading after the fifth hole and Padraig hadn’t made a bogey. It’s ridiculous what he can do sometimes.

“The mental capacity, the desire to win and the ambition of Tiger, it’s just incredible. I mean even the shot he took on at 16 on Sunday afternoon was something else.

“He couldn’t mishit it one little bit. It takes a really incredible person to be able to do something like that.

“We’ve watched it so many times and have seen what he’s done and can do, we just accept that he does it and that’s it. But to keep doing it over and over again is pretty special and he’s probably going to be the greatest golfer that’s ever lived. I don’t think anyone could argue with that.”

McIroy will be making his US PGA debut this week and after following his 20th place at the Masters and 10th place finish in the US Open with a poor 47th in the Open, he’s aiming high this week.

He said: “I was pretty disappointed at Turnberry not to finish higher and I’ve had a bit of a lull recently. Padraig had it for the last six or seven months so if I can get away with it for a month I will be happy.

“A top 10 would be a great result this week. If I can somehow finish in the top 10 in two majors this year in my first year playing all four majors, it would be a very good start to my major career.”