Tiger Woods: US Open champion Rory McIlroy better than me when I was his age
Tiger Woods has described Rory McIlroy's victory at the US Open as "seriously good" and admits the Irishman is better than he was at the same age, especially his swing.
Woods' close friend and fellow pro Mark O'Meara was the first to remark on how good McIlroy's game is in comparison, highlighting the swing and suggesting it eclipses even the former world No 1's when he was 22. And Woods is in full agreement.
"I totally agree with Mark," said Woods, who was 21 when he won his first major. "Rory's swing is definitely better than mine was at the same age.
"He needs to continue to work on it, but he's still only 22. It's fun to see someone of that age playing the way he did and handling it the way he did after (losing at) Augusta.
"That was some seriously good playing. To do that at the US Open, to be that aggressive the entire time, it was cool to watch."
McIlroy set a number of US Open scoring records en route to an eight-shot win on June 19 that recalled Woods' 12-shot triumph at the 1997 Masters, as a 21-year-old, and the American's 15-shot win at the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach.
"In 1997 when I was, what, 21, granted I had some success, but I didn't like my golf swing. That's why I changed it," the 14-time major winner said when asked to compare himself to McIlroy. "I felt like at the same age, his swing is definitely better than mine was at the same age.
"But in '99 my swing came together and I had a pretty good next two years.
"He needs to obviously continue working on it and continue getting better. And he's still young so it's fun to see someone who's of that age play the way he did and handle himself the way he did after Augusta.
"Hey, we've all fallen, we've all made mistakes and played poorly and lost tournaments. It's fun to see someone apply what they've learned and succeed while doing it."