Many might believe the Tiger Woods era is over and Rory McIlroy has inherited the torch but the Holywood star insists he's not anyone's successor and has heard first hand that Woods is stubbornly refusing to wave the white flag.
"He's telling me, 'I'm not going to let you win a green jacket next year', and he's telling me... [doesn't finish sentence....] because he's super competitive," McIlroy said of his chats with Woods on Monday, when they appeared on a late night TV talk show, did a viral video and launched a new set of Nike irons together.
At least that was the takeaway from an excellent McIlroy media conference ahead of The Barclays, where world No 1 and four-time major winner McIlroy will be aiming to do justice to his current run of incredible form and win for the fourth start in a row.
In a revealing interview, McIlroy explained that there was plenty of behind the scenes banter with the ultra-competitive Woods, who appears to have no intention of letting the McIlroy dominate at will from now on.
While he spoke in the past tense about Woods "dominance" on the Tonight Show on Monday and said that "he [Woods] thinks he's still got a lot of his best golf left in him," McIlroy was informed by Woods during their day together that he's not going to complete the career grand Slam at Augusta National and win the green jacket next year.
The bad news for Woods is that McIlroy has no plans to give up winning.
"He's telling me, 'I'm not going to let you win a green jacket next year', and he's telling me... [doesn't finish sentence....] because he's super competitive. I might not look it but I am exactly same way. I might not look it but I have a very competitive spirit but it would only be on the golf course.
"I'll let you win at a game of pool, I don't care about that but golf is my thing to be competitive at, it's my thing to succeed in and of course, I am really competitive. Even if it doesn't look it, on the inside, I am trying to beat those guys to death on the course.
"Tiger has just got a more competitive spirit, period. He'll want to beat you at cards, he'll want to beat you at anything you are playing him. I am a little different that way. Golf is my vehicle to be competitive in something in life and that's why I've put everything into that."
McIlroy's win in the US PGA has been hailed as a watershed in the history of the game — the end of the Tiger Era and the Start of Rory's Reign.
But McIlroy, cleverly passing that unwanted burden along the line, is still to his one-win-at-a-time mantra and refusing to set himself up as the Second Coming.
Asked if he was now comfortable that "the torch has been passed from Tiger to you", McIlroy said:
"I am not comfortable because I know he is working his butt off to get back to where he... wants to be. I am just going to keep playing my golf and play as good as I can and I'll see where that takes me.
"I don't think any torch has been passed and I don't think any torch will ever be passed because I never think of myself in that way. I never see myself like that. I see myself as a golfer on the PGA Tour that wants to win tournaments and wants to be the best that he can be. I don't see the need for me to carry any sort of torch. I just want to win golf tournaments."
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