TIGER Woods believes Rory McIlroy is slowly getting his golf game back on track and predicted on Tuesday that the former world No.1 would claim a breakthrough first victory of the year by the end of December.
McIlroy was on top of the world at the end of 2012, having won the orders of merit on both sides of the Atlantic, but he has had a turbulent season this year on and off the course.
The Northern Irishman changed his clubs in January, a switch that was criticised by several pundits. He is also in the middle of a bitter court dispute with his former management team and, according to media reports, has split from girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.
“He is playing better and swinging a lot better,” said 14-times major champion Woods, who had a close-up view of McIlroy when he lost to the twice major winner in a head-to-head exhibition match on China’s Hainan Island on Monday. “You can see that some of the stuff he and his coach are working on are starting to come together.
“He’s starting to put together a few good rounds. Now he just has to make a few more putts. I can definitely see him winning sometime this year because his game has come around.”