Pros advice

Tiger Woods tells Rory McIlroy: "I'm not going to let you win a green jacket next year"

Competitiveness in sport is what makes it such compelling viewing, and with two of Nike Golf’s biggest golfers throwing down the gauntlet, we’re hoping there will be some added spice to the McIlroy/Woods battle when the 14-time major winner returns from his latest setback.

The two golfers have been in a back-and fourth television advert and appeared together on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon in the US, before taking on The Ice Bucket Challenge in a hilarious video which you can see here.

However, when the joking and feel-good videos are put to one side, it quickly becomes clear that Tiger Woods is still very much an alpha male when it comes to protecting his legacy. And he’s left McIlroy in no doubt that he will not be passing the torch without a fight.

On Wednesday, McIlroy explained that behind the banter shared between the two, Tiger has made it very clear what his goal for the 2015 Masters is, apparently telling him: "I'm not going to let you win a green jacket next year." And the ultra-competitive star wasn’t kidding around, either.

Many won’t honestly feel that Woods is a viable threat to McIlroy when the two step onto the Augusta greens in eight months following a season riddled with back injuries and poor form. Tiger also failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and then withdrew his name from consideration for next month’s Ryder Cup. On top of that, Woods won’t have pulled on a Green Jacket for a decade when he tees up there next year.

But McIlroy, pundits and the rest of the field will underestimate Tiger at their own peril. The American has showed that he’s capable of achieving success and this is nothing if not a very powerful statement of intent, which proves his spirit is still healthy and that he believes winning ways could return very soon.

McIlroy was asked about his thoughts on taking over from Tiger as the new leading man in golf, to which he replied: "I'm not comfortable because I know [Tiger] is working his butt off to get back here and get back where he wants to be."

We hope that Tiger is serious about mounting a challenge next April when McIlroy takes a shot at winning a career Grand Slam at the first attempt. The thought of seeing Tiger and McIlroy clashing heads on the famous Augusta greens would be nothing short of brilliant. We hope this happens so badly!

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