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Are McIlroy and Tiger set for a showdown?

Rory still says he’d love to play Tiger… after dismissing the world number one’s chances last week.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

RORY MCILROY has intensified the already-brewing tension between the young Northern Irish golfer and world number one Tiger Woods, reiterating comments that he would “love to play” the troubled American star.

McIlroy last week upped the ante on the US Ryder Cup team, playing down Tiger’s form. “Unless his game rapidly improves … I think anyone in the European team would fancy their chances against him” he told the BBC.

Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, McIlroy said “if the draw works out and I get to play him it would be great to play him… [But] I really don’t mind who I play.”

The odds on Woods and McIlroy being paired against each other have been slashed in the wake of the comments.

European captain Colin Montgomerie gave a rousing speech to his team last night at their hotel, and McIlroy was keen not to give away the content of the speech but did say it “really hit home” for him. ”It was very motivational. It really hit home for me how much passion he has for the Ryder Cup.”

McIlroy is to be partnered with compatriot Graeme McDowell at Celtic Manor, and said that the pair will practice together in the next few days. “I’d say myself and Graeme will have a couple of games this week. I’m hitting it [his form] well, I’ll be doing some work on the putting green in the comuing days but I feel like I’m in good shape.”

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