Rory McIlroy reckons it would be “silly” for him or anyone else in the European team to be targeting Tiger Woods in the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, near Paris.
Woods made a sensational return to winning ways as he landed the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday – his first victory since returning from career-threatening back trouble.
McIlroy was among those left trailing in the former world No 1’s wake in the PGA Tour’s season-ending event, but the Northern Irishman is not necessarily eyeing revenge.
“This week, he’s one of 12,” said McIlroy of Woods. “We’re not looking at any individuals. We’re just trying to beat the US team.
“It’s great what he did on Sunday. It was great for golf. It brings a lot of excitement to the game. But I think to focus on one player is silly, especially when I might not play against him.
“I think it’s great for the US team that he’s in the mix, and it’s given their team a little bit of momentum coming over here. But we’re looking to beat the US team. We’re not looking to just beat Tiger Woods.”
McIlroy was just three shots behind Woods, his playing partner, heading into the final round in Atlanta but closed with a disappointing 74 to finish seven adrift of the victor.
“That East Lake rough was really tough, yeah,” said McIlroy, laughing, in reply to being asked if playing with Woods in winning form had been intimidating. “That was the most intimidating part about it.
“I started hitting a few drives left and right early, and I didn’t actually have quite a good view from the trees on Sunday. I couldn’t really see what was happening too much.”