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PGA Golf

Rory, Tiger both joke about Norman’s comments that McIlroy intimidates Woods

Greg Norman managed to get his name in the papers and got the golf world talking when he recently opined that in light of what has been happening recently in pro golf, Rory McIlroy now intimidates Tiger Woods. As ridiculous as that may sound, Norman provided his reasoning behind why he believes that it might be the case:

“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” he says. “When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.

“But I think he knows his time’s up and that’s normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles.

“Jack took it from Arnold (Palmer). I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger.”

Not surprisingly, the media jumped on the Norman commentary, but both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, when provided the opportunity, immediately downplayed Norman’s conjecture. In fact, both of the all-world golfers managed to have some fun with it in their reactions.

When asked about Norman’s thoughts during a Wednesday news conference in advance of the Tour Championship, Woods, making a crack about McIlroy’s moppy mane, amusingly replied, “It must be the hair,” before adding that golf is a bit different than other sports as it pertains to how intimidation by one player towards another works, or more accurately, does not (via USA Today):

“No, no one is the size of Ray Lewis who is going to hit me coming over the middle, so this is a different kind of sport. We go out there and we play our own game. And see where it falls at the end of the day.”

Later, McIlroy responded in a similar manner, as he also made a joke about the hullabaloo caused by Norman, saying, “He’s got a new nickname for me, actually: He calls me the ‘Intimidator,'” before clarifying the relative absurdity of how he could ever intimidate Tiger by explaining, “No, how can I intimidate Tiger Woods? I mean, the guy’s got 75 or 70-whatever PGA Tour wins, 14 majors. I mean, he’s been the biggest thing ever in our sport.”

The two have been quite chummy of late, even talking some smack about the upcoming Ryder Cup when McIlroy said he would like to kick Tiger’s ass, so there’s little possibility that comments by The Shark will cause any kind of antagonistic wedge to be driven between the two. At least, no more than the friendly wedge that evidently exists between the two already simply due to the intensely competitive nature of the duo of golfing greats.