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Darren Clarke: McIlroy's the new Tiger

“He’s an unbelievably talented kid, he’s got everything going for him. He’s world number one by quite a stretch at the moment and deservedly so.”

Image: Getty images

DARREN CLARKE CLAIMS his compatriot and world number one Rory McIlroy is ‘the current Tiger’ and will win many more majors.

McIlroy won his second major this year when he claimed the PGA Championship and heads into this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai having already secured the top spot on the European Tour’s money list.

Clarke’s season has been much tougher but the 44-year-old has enjoyed watching his fellow Northern Irishman take the next step and challenge the best player in recent years, Tiger Woods.

“He’s the future of golf right now, he is the future,” Clarke said. ”He’s an unbelievably talented kid, he’s got everything going for him. He’s world number one by quite a stretch at the moment and deservedly so.

“He’s the current Tiger if you will and he’s going to be a tough guy to catch.”

While Clarke believes McIlroy still needs to improve if he is to match Woods’ best, he is confident the 23-year-old has the ability to get there.

“Tiger in his heyday was incredible to behold but Rory does possess, as far as I’m concerned and from what I’ve seen, almost as much talent as Tiger did and still does,” Clarke said.

“So it will be very interesting as Rory matures and gets older and he starts racking up those majors, how far he goes.”

Clarke has conceded he has had a tough year but has promised a return to his very best in 2013. Despite falling a staggering 89 places in the world rankings to number 138, Clarke aims to silence his critics next year and replicate the form which saw him crowned 2011 British Open champion.

“I’ll keep working away, working away, working away and probably not many people would have given me much chance of winning The Open last time and I’d be delighted to prove them wrong again,” Clarke said.

Rory McIlroy motivated ahead of Dubai finale

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