Sunday 26 March 2017

Donald takes to Twitter to clear up McIlroy, Tiger comments

Mark Garrod

Luke Donald plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th green during a practice round in Dubai yesterday
Luke Donald plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th green during a practice round in Dubai yesterday

LUKE Donald has felt the need to declare Tiger Woods "the greatest player I have played with" - a day after saying Rory McIlroy had more talent.

World number one Donald took on world number two McIlroy head-to-head today in the opening round of the Dubai World Championship, an event where a top nine finish will guarantee him an unprecedented double of US and European Tour money list titles.



McIlroy, the only player who can deny Donald by winning on Sunday, is tipped by the Englishman to go on to win multiple majors.



"The sky is the limit," he said of the 22-year-old Northern Irishman, who won his first major by eight shots at the US Open in June.



"Tiger's work ethic has always been tremendous and I think his mindset is what has separated himself from the field when he was really at the top of the game.



"But in terms of talent, I think Rory has more. Of the guys I've played with out here on Tour Rory has the most."



After sparking a debate with his comments, however, Donald went on to his Twitter site to state: "A few people aren't understanding what I meant.



"The word talent and Rory to me means a free-flowing swing who makes everything look so easy.



"TW has always been the best at getting the ball in the hole when it mattered the most. That's not just talent, that's something else too.



"Talent can only take you so far, you need the right attitude (mindset) and application to perform at the highest level.



"(I'd) never try to disrespect Tiger in any way. He is still the greatest player I have played with."



Woods ended more than two years without a victory when he birdied the final two holes of the Chevron World Challenge in California last Sunday.



It was the 93rd win of the 35-year-old's professional career - 14 of them majors.



He and Donald, who has been at the top of the rankings since beating previous incumbent Lee Westwood in a play-off for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, will next be competing against each other in the Abu Dhabi Championship next month.



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