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Sun Apr 20 22:56:14 SAST 2014

McIlroy v Woods at Ryder Cup?

TEAMtalk Media | 18 September, 2012 11:070 Comments
BMW Championship - Round Two
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (L) shakes hands with Tiger Woods of the USA during the second round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club on September 7, 2012 in Carmel, Indiana
Image by: Warren Little / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has hinted that he'd like to go head-to-head against Tiger Woods in the singles at the Ryder Cup.

There has been plenty of speculation that the two would face each other, and McIlroy has hinted that he might ask European captain Jose Maria Olazabal to set up just such a meeting.

"It would be great fun to be part of," McIlroy told the Times."The atmosphere would be absolutely incredible. I might say to Tiger, 'I'll have a word with Jose, you have a word with Davis - and I'll see you on the first tee'."

His appearance at Medinah Country Club at the end of September will be McIlroy's second in the team event, and his rise to the top of the world golf rankings means he'll be called upon to take on a much stronger role this time around.

"I think there will be an expectation on me to be one of the leaders," he said. "It's strange to say because there are so many guys in the team who have done so much in their careers, but being No. 1 in the world and with what I've done these last couple of years, I am expecting to go in with more of a leadership role.

"My voice being heard in the team room, making suggestions, being confident to say, 'Listen guys, here's what I think we should do'.

"I was a rookie last time and I sat quietly waiting for everybody else to say something. I hope to lead by example, maybe go out in the first game of the day, set the tone."

McIlroy also revealed that he'd struck up a strong friendship with his potential opponent, highlighting their friendly rivalry on and off the course.

"Tiger gives me stick about being short. He always asks me, 'Seriously, how tall are you?' I'll say, 'five nine'.

"'Yeah, but without the hair? That's five seven, right?' He'll ask me, 'What do you do when Caroline [Wozniacki, McIlroy's girlfriend] wears heels?' But I give him grief about all sorts. Getting old, getting bald. He doesn't take himself too seriously, certainly not when I'm around.

"I've been seeing loads of Tiger and I've got to know the person. He's still a great player. We've been seeing a lot of each other, in the gym, on the course."

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