Rory McIlroy is the new Tiger for golf’s teen generation.
That’s the view of US young gun Harris English, who got a front row seat for the crowning of the new world No 1 in Sunday’s final round.
The former Walker Cup ace, 22, grew up idolising Woods but believes McIlroy is now the poster boy for him and golf’s future stars.
Tied for 18th at the Honda Classic, the US rookie said: “It’s great for people my age and younger. It’s a hell of an incentive for all the young guys.
“For the 10 to 15 year olds now to see Rory as No 1 is fantsatic and will show that’s it’s not impossible to get there.
“Growing up we had Tiger to look at and inspire us but now those kids have Rory. It will only help them and us develop quicker. It’s awesome.”
English was massively impressed with McIlroy’s cool under pressure on Sunday, especially as Woods started to pile on the pressure.
Despite shooting 77 alongside the Holywood star in the final group, he was thrilled by the experience and McIlroy’s gutsy performance.
He said: “When Tiger made eagle on 18, you couldn’t miss the roar.
“Rory had a 10-footer for birdie and I knew he knew what had happened. To feel that pressure and then come to the Bear Trap and hit some quality shots, t was awesome.
“It was amazing to see how he could withstand that pressure and pull it off despite Tiger’s charge. It was cool to watch.”
English has scorched into the world’s top 200 but believes McIlroy will be top of the rankings for years to come.
He said: “I can see Rory sticking around there for a long while, for sure. He definitely knows what he’s doing and he’s going to have a lot more wins this year, I’m convinced
“He just knows the situation very well, he made some unbelievable putts on the front nine.
“He didn’t hit to where whe wanted to but he didn’t panic he just got up and down all day. He’s definitely got the focus.
“He was relaxed too. You could see he was slowing it down at there and making sure his head was not getting the best of him.
“It was god for me to see and any young golfer to see how he reacts.
“Playing with Rory was awesome. He deserves it. He did everything right, made the right shots and let his short game work. It was a honour to be there and I’ll learn from it.”