How a 9-Year-Old Rory McIlroy Sent a Letter of Warning to Peak Tiger Woods

Published 09/10/2022, 6:00 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Rory McIlroy idolized Tiger Woods during his formative years. The Northern Irishman, who was once heralded as Tiger’s successor, had a successful amateur career. He was ranked No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking as a 17-year-old. Believe it or not, he had even sent a warning letter to an in-form Tiger Woods, which suggested the end was near for the 15-time Major winner!

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What did a 9-year-old Rory McIlroy write in the letter to Tiger Woods?

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The tale was narrated by Rory’s uncle, Brian, who recalled his nephew penning a note for his idol as a nine-year-old. According to Brian, McIlroy won the 1998 Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic in Florida, which prompted the latter to signal new beginnings.

After all these years, the exact wordings of that letter remain understandably unclear. Uncle Brian, who was at hand when a young Rory wrote the letter, provided the warning tone.

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“I’m coming to get you. This is the beginning. Watch this space,” is how Brian paraphrased Rory’s message.

McIlroy didn’t deny his uncle’s statements, but mentioned the memories were a bit “blurred.” “A lot of those memories have kind of blurred together,” he said. “But yeah, it went something like that.”

Has McIlroy lived up to the expectations?

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McIlroy made a bright start to his professional career, asserting himself as one of the World’s top golfers. Indeed, his early exploits were noteworthy – he is on an elite list of three players who have won 4 Major Championships by the age of 25, the other two being Jack Nicklaus and Rory’s idol, Tiger Woods.

USA Today via Reuters

However, the last of the four championships, the 2014 PGA Championship, was 8 years ago. Since then, the Northern Irishman has featured regularly on the Tour, albeit winning a major. He has been ranked World No.1 on multiple occasions and presently stands at No.3 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

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Nonetheless, he has held an impressive record at the Ryder Cup and came back to form at the end of this season, securing his third FedEx Cup which took him above Tiger Woods’ record of two. Still ripe at 33, McIlroy would look to give it all to stand a chance of emulating his great idol.

Watch this story: Rory McIlroy joins Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in golf’s history books 

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Written by:

Sharan Nair

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One take at a time

Sharan is an Engineering student with a desire to carve out a career in sports journalism. He is an ardent Tiger Woods fan and his 2019 Masters victory is what further cemented his love for the golfer. A die hard football fan, Sharan can be seen cheering for Real Madrid, and playing FIFA every chance he gets.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui

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