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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport Rory McIlroy: hoping to learn from Masters collapse.
# American Dream
Return of the Mc: Rory out to take advantage of Tiger's absence
With the former world number one at home in front of the telly this weekend, one Holywood man wants to fill his Nikes.

THERE’S A TIGER WOODS- shaped hole at Congressional – and we know just the man to fill it.

Rory McIlroy knows there are two ways of looking at the absence of the former world number one from the US Open, which starts tomorrow.

Bad for the event. Good for him.

“It’s obviously not great for the golf tournament – it would have been great to see him play,” said the Irishman. ”But I suppose it leaves the door a little bit open for a few of the guys.

“Every time you have Tiger in the field you’ve got to think that he’s going to have a good chance. To have one of the main contenders not here gives the rest of us a little bit more of a chance.”

Woods, out with knee and achilles injuries, has failed to make it back to the Congressional course near Washington where he first became world number one 14 years ago – with a 19th-place finish.

Yesterday it emerged that Woods is in a walking boot and his injury may be worse than he’s letting on. Not that McIlroy minds.

“You have to take care of your health before anything else,” added McIlroy, so keen to make instant amends in the majors for his closing 80 from four in front at The Masters in April.

“It was apparent that his body still isn’t in a good enough place to play competitive golf. Hopefully he gets back on the course soon, but he still looked like he was in quite a lot of pain in the nine holes he played at The Players.”

Woods played that front nine in 42, which was still one better than McIlroy’s back nine at Augusta – and so, even though he has had to talk about it at every tournament since, he was asked about it again yesterday.

“No doubt it was a great experience for me,” he said. “I took the positives from the week – there weren’t many to take from the Sunday. It’s hard. It was my first time in that situation, you’re going to be feeling the pressure a little bit and I certainly did.”

- quotes from PA

Do you think McIlroy can do it?

Tiger’s in a walking boot and may be hurt worse than he’s letting on>

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