WORLD NUMBER ONE Rory McIlroy is looking forward to playing alongside Tiger Woods after the pair were grouped together at The Barclays.
Northern Irishman McIlroy will be paired with American Woods during the opening two rounds of the opening FedEx Cup event at the Bethpage Black Course.
And McIlroy, who heads into the event full of confidence after claiming the PGA Championship by eight strokes earlier this month, is relishing his dual against the 14-time major champion.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. ”You know, it’s nice. It really focuses you from the get-go, a pairing like that.
“I feel every time I’ve played with Tiger, he’s sort of brought the best out of me. I really feel focused and obviously want to play well.
“I really enjoy his company. I know we’ll have a good time out there.”
The 23-year-old McIlroy also congratulated Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia for ending his title drought at the Wyndham Championship on Monday.
Spaniard Garcia had gone four years without a win before emerging victorious in the PGA Tour event at Sedgefield Country Club.
I remember watching Sergio win the Irish Open in ’99, and then I remember staying up late on that Sunday night when he was battling Tiger down the stretch at Medinah and hitting the shot from the tree and running up the fairway,” McIlroy said.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Sergio over the past few years. It was great to see him win last week and great to have him on our Ryder Cup team.
“I think he’ll be a very important member for us.”
Garcia endured a difficult few years on tour but the Spaniard said his struggles are an inevitable part of the professional game.
“Well, I think that you go through spots and through times in your career where obviously you have up and downs,” he said.
“And when you go on those downs obviously it’s not much fun but you kind of try to get through them. I guess that’s why we love the game so much.
“You know, it’s a hard game, but when you can do a couple things right, it gives a lot back to you.”