With a Monday weather-related finale at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods has once again become the number-one golfer in the world. Fans are joyful but players...not so much unless, of course, you're Rory McIlroy.
NBC Final Round notes from Bay Hill included a compelling quote from the cantankerous Johnny Miller about a possible improvement in Rory McIlroy's game after Woods' victory, "Maybe that will actually help Rory McIlroy by taking the heat off him being number one and set him free again."
So, although Tiger Woods may now be scaring the field once again, he might actually be putting McIlroy's mind at ease, allowing young Rory to sharpen his game and his new Nike VR golf clubs, from VR-S Covert driver to VR Pro Blade Irons.
McIlroy skipped Bay Hill this week, choosing a casual round at a local muni to butting heads with Woods. Perhaps Rory prefers building his confidence instead by playing the "lesser of two evils", Phil Mickelson, at the Shell Houston Open this week?
Although a fifth Masters is not assured for Tiger, Joe LaCava, Woods' caddie, says there is definitely "more confidence" in his short game and putting. Graeme McDowell seems to have put the entire Woods-McIlroy battle in perspective. “Rory’s been No 1 for a while and having this kind of challenge will definitely gear him up. When you’ve achieved many of your goals, your motivations disappear and this will help him refocus.”
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