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McIlroy laughs off idea of intimidating Tiger

Rory McIlroy laughed at the notion that he might intimidate Tiger Woods. Greg Norman had made that suggestion ahead of the Ryder Cup but McIlroy thought it very unlikely, and joked about the idea.

"He has got a new nickname for me actually. He calls me The Intimidator", McIlroy said. "No. How can I intimidate Tiger Woods? I mean, the guy has got 74 PGA Tour wins and 14 majors. He's been the biggest thing ever in our sport. How could some little 23-year-old from Northern Ireland come up and intimidate him? It's just impossible. I don't know where he got that from, but it's not true."

McIlroy is the current world number one, but Woods has recovered enough of his old form to climb back up to world number two. Norman and Woods have never been particularly friendly so Woods was unwilling to offer any comment on the Australian’s suggestion.

Woods and McIlroy have a warmer relationship. The Irishman denies that the American’s achievements were ever daunting though. "I don't think intimidated is the right word. More just in awe of what he has done, of his accomplishments, his achievements. But never intimidated."

Woods believes that golf is a game where opponents cannot have a strong psychological impact. Players are taking on the course rather than directly opposing each other. "This is a different kind of sport," Woods said. "We go out there and play our own game and see where it falls at the end of the day."

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