Rory McIlroy has revealed how he thought Tiger Woods was on the verge of giving up the game following a chat they had over a spot of lunch in 2017.
McIlroy was one of the first players to send a message of congratulations to Woods after his Masters triumph last month, which marked his fifth green jacket at 15th career major title.
Very few people really know what @TigerWoods has been thru to get back to this point. So cool seeing him with Tida, Sam, Charlie, Erica and the rest of the team behind 18 green. Couldn’t be happier for him! What a great day for golf! #TheMasters— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) April 14, 2019
Speaking to the media ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship where the Ulsterman lines up as a red-hot favourite, McIlroy recalled a time some two years ago when Woods sounded as though as was about to hang his spikes up following a fourth back surgery.
“All he was thinking about was quality of life, watching his kids grow up, being able to play soccer in the backyard,” said McIlro. “His mind wasn't even on golf, which sort of told me he's sort of thinking about this could be it."
McIlroy added: "A lot of people were comparing it to Jack [Nicklaus] in '86 and everyone knew that was going to be Jack's last major championship. Tiger could be competitive at Augusta for the next 10 years if his body holds up."